The Good of the Land of Israel - Tuv HaAretz by Rabbi Shapira

This is a Sefer - book that describes many aspects of the spiritual concept of the Land of Israel and what it means both spiritually and physically. It is a series of classes that will be reading from this book and will be quite meaningful to understand on a personal level what it means when a leader of the Jewish People calls on the Jewish Nation to return to the Good Land of Israel.

Tuv HaAretz:

The Lands Power to Atone

Chapter Six, Part 1

Eretz Yisrael purifies one from his (and other's) iniquities.

Know that the souls of those Jews who reside outside of Eretz Yisrael stem from the realm of the angel Sandalfon. That is the realm of the Ofanim, the Rotating Angels, in the realm of Asiya, they are known as "The House of Jacob", as well as being called "Hebrew servants ("eved ivri" in Hebrew) whose numerical value is that of "snake" (nachash in Hebrew) - 358. This is because they are underneath the power of the kelipot, as will be explained later. When he merits entering the land, he is given a new Nefesh from the world of Yetzira… the world related to Zeir Anpin

[Translator's note: concerning Ofanim: The universe of Asiya includes the physical world and its spiritual counterparts. In the human soul, Asiya corresponds to the level of Nefesh which is where the spiritual actually interacts with the physical. The angels of Asiya are the Ofanim or "Wheels" and these are the Ofanim that Ezekiel saw under the Chariot.

In order to understand this correspondence we must contemplate the function of wheels in general. Wheels reduce friction between a vehicle and the ground. Without wheels it would drag heavily on the ground, wearing itself out and tearing the road apart. Wheels, therefore, allow for the smooth interface between the chassis and the ground.

The angels of Asiya, the Ofanim, provide a smooth interface between the spiritual and the physical. In Ezekiel's vision of the Merkava, the Chariot itself is the universe of Yetzira, the realm of spiritual movement. The Ofanim of Asiya represent the interaction of the spiritual dimension with the physical world.]

Yet those who dwell in Eretz Yisrael, their souls (neshamot) emanate from the world of Meta‑tron. This is hinted to by the fact that the term for Eretz Yisrael "Eretz HaTzvi" has the same numerical value as "Chanoch and Meta‑tron". (My beloved teacher, the RAMAZ, points out that it is also the value of the word "chofshi", meaning "free". Likewise, the value of "ben chorin", meaning "free man", is equal to the value of the word "Yetzira". This is comprised of the ten sefirot of Yetzira.) They are called the "Children of Israel" after the name of the land of "Yisrael Sabba". They are also called "my children", and "the children of the living G‑d", by virtue of the name of the land "The Supernal Land of the Living", in Hebrew "Eretz HaChaim Ilayin".

Intentional sins performed in Eretz Yisrael can only be forgiven through suffering…

chanoch adds: That suffering today is the stress of terror and lack of trust in HaShem.

Behold a man dwelling outside of Eretz Yisrael, has a soul that stems from the world of the Ofanim (a section of the world of Asiya). When he merits entering the land, he is given a new Nefesh from the world of Yetzira, which gets enveloped by his old Nefesh. On the first night that he slumbers in Eretz Yisrael, those two souls ascend on high. Upon returning, only the new Nefesh is given back to him. This soul is not befitting to punish, for it never committed any transgressions. Therefore that person gets forgiven for all his sins. This is what is meant by Rav Yochanan's statement in Gemara Ketubot 111a, "He who walks four cubits in Eretz Yisrael is guaranteed entrance to the world to come." The intention of that statement is that after being given a new soul without any blemish of his sins, it is logical that he would be granted permission to enter the world to come.

Know that Eretz Yisrael only atones for transgressions done within its boundaries if the sins were unintentional; but intentional sins performed in Eretz Yisrael can only be forgiven through suffering and the person going against his own negative nature. Rebellious sins performed in Eretz Yisrael can only gain forgiveness through repentance and Torah studying. Thus has written Rav Moshe Cordovero, "All those the dwell in Eretz Yisrael remain without transgression".

Yet if one were to be very precise we would find a statement later in the same Talmud that is seemingly contrary to the above: Rav Elazar says, "All those the dwell in Eretz Yisrael remain without transgression (seemingly even intentional ones), as is said 'A dweller of Jerusalem shall not say, 'I'm ill', for the people dwelling there shall be forgiven of sin.'" (Isaiah 33:24) This seems to include even those sins done intentionally! How is it possible by merely sitting and doing nothing that you can be granted forgiveness for intentional sins?

Yet we can find a solution to our enigma from the Midrash, (Yalkut Shimoni on Psalms 115d) "The verse, 'G‑d, You have favored Your land, You have returned the captivity of Jacob' (Psalms 95:2) can best be understood with the aid of the verse, 'A land which the Lord, your G‑d, seeks out…' (Deut. 11:12). This implies that G‑d 'seeks out' ways and places His eyes upon her, until her actions are deemed pleasing to G‑d. The commandments that are fulfilled therein such as tithing and abiding by the laws of the Sabbatical Year (shemita), cause G‑d to be pleased with the actions of the Jews." Likewise the Torah says, "then the land shall be appeased for its Sabbaticals...", (Lev. 26:34) and thus G‑d will be appeased by the land. In other words, who bares the burden of the iniquities of the land in which they dwell, as is stated, "the people dwelling there shall be forgiven of sin" -- behold they are alive. Who atones for His nation? His land. The transgressions of the fathers… the land carries the burden of those iniquities

How do we know that even the deceased shall be purged of iniquity? Says the Torah, "And His land shall atone for His nation". Who atones for His nation? His land. Fortunate are those dwelling in Eretz Yisrael, for they have no sin or transgression neither during their life nor after-death. Thus is the meaning of the verse, "You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people, You have covered up their entire sin, Selah! (Psalms 85:3)

Behold the holy Arizal explains the following verse, "For because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become the scorn of all those around us." (Daniel 9:16) Know that our Sages have said, "There is no death without sin". (Shabbat 55a) For a person is gathered to the next world by means of his unintentional sins, yet his children inherit his intentional sins thereby receiving suffering for their fathers' offences. That is what is meant by the verse, "Our fathers have erred and are no longer, yet we must suffer for their transgressions". (Lamentations 5:7) That will answer yet another query about the verse "Parents will not die for their children's sins", while the above verse ends, "A man will die for his own sins". (Deut. 24:16) The explanation for this is that for unintentional sins, children are not affected by their parents; rather each person receives their own consequence. Yet intentional sins can affect beyond the perpetrator, and therefore even one's children can be punished for them. That's why the verse [in Daniel] uses the terms, "Because of our errors and the transgressions of our fathers." We suffer from our own errors, while we also take the brunt of our fathers' intentional transgressions, not their errors.

Behold all of the above is true outside of Eretz Yisrael, yet inside the Jews that dwell therein are free of iniquity. G‑d doesn't recall the transgressions of the fathers upon their children, for the land carries the burden of those iniquities. This is true for those who are alive. By performing the mitzvot that are specific to the land, they are granted forgiveness

Yet for the deceased, how do we know that they are cleansed? Firstly let us discuss those who died abroad with their sins and were subsequently brought to Eretz Yisrael for burial. Are their sins cleansed by entry to Eretz Yisrael? Further, does the rule of: "G‑d doesn't recall the transgressions of the fathers upon their children" apply to them as well? The answer is that the sages teach us, "Says the Torah, 'And His land shall atone for His nation'. Who atones for His nation? His land. Thus is the meaning of the verse, 'You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people, You have covered up their entire sin, Selah!'. (Psalms 85:3)" In other words, how does G‑d lift the burden of the transgressions of His nation? Don't we know that "G‑d recalls the sins of the fathers upon their children"? (Ex. 20:5) That is why the verse states, "You have covered up their entire sin".

In other words, G‑d has made a covering for their intentional sins from their errors, thus turning all their sins into errors! That is how the person dwelling in Eretz Yisrael is free from sin. By performing the mitzvot that are specific to the land, they are granted forgiveness.

This is the essence of what Rav Elazar meant in his statement: (Ketubot 111a) "All those that reside in Eretz Yisrael remain without sin." That is assuming that they are abiding by the laws of the land. They don't require such a strict regimen of repentance, as in fasting and immersion in freezing waters, to remove the stains of their iniquities from their supernal garment etc., and if they don't do repentance then G‑d will not exact payment from their children. Even though it is written, "G‑d will recall the transgressions of the fathers upon their children". (Ex. 20:5) For that only applies in Chutz LaAretz.

When living in Eretz Yisrael and performing the mitzvot of the land, automatically their iniquities become purified, therefore they don't require the cleansing and purging that is necessary outside the land.

Another way of understanding the statement of Rav Elazar "All those that reside in Eretz Yisrael remain without sin" is as follows: by means of the mitzvot that he performs, his status is "the burden of sin is lifted off". In other words, G‑d lifts off one's sins from his soul, as is written, "No iniquities shall be upon a righteous one". (Proverbs 12:21) That is specifically in Eretz Yisrael.

This is what is meant by the passage from the Jerusalem Talmud: "Rav Meir taught, 'He who dwells permanently in Eretz Yisrael, and speaks in the Holy Tongue (Biblical Hebrew), and eats his fruits in purity, and recites the Shema in the morning and at night, it should be made known to him that he is granted entrance to the World to Come.'" (Shekalim 14b)

chanoch adds: How does one reconcile the teaching of Kabbalah that the code word fathers and children refers to the reincarnation of the same soul - with the above more physical and literal representation and explanation? i leave this question for you - the students of Kabbalah to ponder.

The Problems of Sinning in the Land

Chapter Six, Part 2

Presence in the Holy Land demands an increased level of piety.

Regarding whether the Land of Israel really has the power to atone for one's transgressions] the following should bother us:

1) The verse: "Behold, Even His holy ones, He doesn't have faith in" (Job 15:15), implying there is no guarantee of remaining free of sin.

2) The statement of the Mishna, (Avot 2:4) "A man shall not have faith in himself until the time of his death", implying, again, that there is no guarantee of remaining free of sin.

The perspective we must have is as follows: The above passages make it quite clear that there are no guarantees of never sinning. Yet the merit of residing in Eretz Yisrael will cause you to have your [prior] sins removed as in, "the burden of sin is lifted off", as well as being protected from sins being availed to you as in, "No iniquities shall befall a tzadik (righteous one)." (Proverbs 12:21) He who dwells in Chutz LaAretz worships idolatry in purity This is also what is meant by, "He who walks four cubits in Eretz Yisrael is guaranteed entrance to the world to come", that is because G‑d is protecting you from sin. (This doesn't preclude the situation of one who lusts after sins, for he will find it. This only offers us protection from sins approaching us, and possibly gives us extra power to survive tests of loyalty.) That is what is meant by the verse, "A righteous person through his faith shall live [in Hebrew Tzadik b'emunaso yechye]". (Habakkuk 2:4) The first letters of those words spell "tzvi" meaning "deer", for another name of Eretz Yisrael is "Eretz HaTzvi" -- "The land of the deer". Someone who is a tzadik in his actions is guaranteed that he will live through his faith and not sin. This is also hinted to by the verse, "G‑d the righteous one is within it [in Hebrew, YKVK tzadik b'kirba] He commits no corruption"; (Zephaniah 3:5) again, the first letters spell tzvi, implying that he who lives in Eretz Yisrael is protected from corruption.

Whereas, in Chutz LaAretz, the verse, "There is no tzadik in the land that shall do good and not sin" (Ecclesiastes 7:2) applies. In other words, it is not sufficient for him to avoid sin, for he will not gain forgiveness until he repents and does teshuva. Even when he is "doing good", in that very act of goodness, he sins (sin here doesn't mean transgression, rather it means being off target). This is as the sages have stated, "He who dwells in Chutz LaAretz worships idolatry in purity". (Avoda Zara 8a) For the greater his (a tzadik outside Eretz Yisrael's) righteousness is, then the greater amount of divine influence is granted to the ministering angel in charge of his (the tzadik's) country. That is considered idol worship --serving a foreign power in purity. Eventually he will have to experience suffering in order to rectify that.

Anyone who lives in Eretz Yisrael is considered a tzadik even if it doesn't seem to be so…

Rav Moshe Cordovero writes the following, "Anyone who lives in Eretz Yisrael is considered a tzadik even if it doesn't seem to be so. For if he weren't a tzadik, then the land would spit him out, as is written, 'And the land shall spit out its inhabitants'. (Lev. 18:25) Therefore, regarding even those who act as evildoers, if they aren't spat out of the land then G‑d calls him a tzadik. (This is a title as opposed to a description of his true spiritual standing)

This is what is meant by the verse, "This is the gate to G‑d, the righteous shall enter it". (Psalms 118:20) The "gate" of G‑d, refers to Eretz Yisrael, as we see Our Father Jacob calling it "the gate of heaven". (Gen. 28:17) Also the end of the verse in Psalms "…the righteous will enter it [in Hebrew tzadikim yavo'u vo"] has the first letters spelling tzvi, implying that Eretz HaTzvi is the gate to G‑d and that all those that enter it are called righteous, for once they enter they don't leave.

This is the opposite to those that arrive in Eretz Yisrael and don't pay attention to the fact that they are living in the palace of the King. They who are rebellious, transgressing, and abound in their drunkenness and feasts of vanity, frivolity, emptiness and hedonism, are described by the following verse, "But you came and contaminated My land, and made My heritage into an abomination". (Jeremiah 2:7) The verse, "When you come up to appear before Me, who sought this from your hands to trample in My courtyards" (Isaiah 1:12) also applies to them. These people shouldn't deceive themselves thinking that they will remain in the Holy Land after their deaths. Rather even in their death they shall be cast out of the land like dogs. As is stated in the Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer chapter 33:

"All evildoers who die in Eretz Yisrael, their souls are cast out to Chutz LaAretz as is written in the verse, 'And He shall cast out the soul of your enemy as a stone is shot out of a slingshot' (Samuel I 25:29). For in the future G‑d will grasp the corners of the land, and will shake off all contamination to Chutz LaAretz, as is written, 'To grasp the edges of the earth, and shake the wicked from it'". (Job 38:13) Any person coming to Eretz Yisrael should…constantly be cognizant of his dwelling in the King's palace

Therefore, any person coming to Eretz Yisrael should tremble upon his arrival to the Land, and should resolve himself to be doubly fearful of heaven than how he was in Chutz LaAretz, and constantly be cognizant of his dwelling in the King's palace.

Rav Cordovero wrote further, "For if an inhabitant of Eretz Yisrael was to leave to dwell in Egypt, that very sin will cause the (female) demon Rahav to rule over him. Yet, if he resolves himself never to go down to live in Egypt, he is considered as being cautious his entire life, as if unifying the unity of G‑d upon himself. As was said before, "A righteous person through his faith shall live [in Hebrew, tzadik b'emunato yechye]". (Habakkuk 2:4) The first letters of those words spell tzvi. That implies that by means of his living in the Eretz HaTzvi, he lives his entire life with "holy faithfulness" which is the unity of the malchut, which is called "the Land" together with tiferet, which is called Yisrael.

End of Chapter Six.

Leaving the Land

Chapter Seven, Part 1

Upon arriving in Israel, one's soul is cleansed and elevated

A person who ascends from Chutz LaAretz to Eretz Yisrael yet intends to go back experiences the following spiritual changes: Upon reaching the outer side of "The Ladder", he is divested of all his kelipot - negative barriers. He only enters with his Nefesh of Asiya, yet he can not receive a Nefesh of Yetzira. This is why he must observe all the holidays as they are kept abroad.

chanoch adds: 2 days instead of 1 day of Chagim except where one day is kept outside of Israel.

Rav Chaim Vital wrote that he who is born in Eretz Yisrael has his NR"N (Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama) from [the angel] Meta‑tron. Yet when they leave Eretz Yisrael they are enclothed by a garment of [the angel] Sandalfon. The shell that surrounds him is like that of an almond…

The shell that surrounds him is like that of an almond, the green soft layer representing Rahav and the inner harder shell symbolizing Sama'el. The wood like substance inside the shell represents the shell of the Temurot ("Opposition"). The thin shell - the bran that is attached to the food - is pure; it is from Sandalfon. This is the garment that he is enclothed with upon leaving towards Chutz LaAretz. Despite the fact that the shells of the kelipot don't defile the Nefesh of Sandal-fon except by means of direct contact, as in the case of earthenware vessels, if he returns, then they are removed from him. [To this is what King David hinted at when he wrote the three times "they surrounded me", and "And in the name of G‑d, I smite them down." (Psalms 118:10-12)] Only the thin bran is not removed upon his return. On the very evening of his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, while he lies down to sleep, they remove the NR"N that he brought with him and immerse it in the Dinor River… - River of Fire

He who is born outside of Eretz Yisrael is given his NR"N from the realm of Sandalfon. If he subsequently comes to live in Eretz Yisrael, then he is given a NR"N from the aspect of Meta‑tron. Yet the NR"N from Sandalfon doesn't leave him and remains as a garment for his NR"N of Meta‑tron. On the very evening of his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, while he lays down to sleep, they [the angels] remove the NR"N that he brought with him and immerse it in the Dinor River. When they return his Neshama, he is given the new NR"N from Meta‑tron that is enclothed in the NR"N of Sandalfon.

We must delve into this seemingly strange addition, resulting in the new immigrant having two NR"Ns, whilst the person born and bred in Eretz Yisrael only has one! The answer is simply that what caused him to make the move to Eretz Yisrael? His NR"N of Sandalfon! Therefore we treat her with goodness, and allow her to remain attached to his new NR"N as a robe to a body. This also permits that NR"N to be elevated together with the NR"N of Meta‑tron. Rava said, "if one of us goes up to Eretz Yisrael then he is worth two of them!"

In my impoverished opinion, that seems to be the intention of the sages (Ketubot 75a) when they taught, "And to Zion it shall be said, 'Man after man was born in her'." (Psalms 87:5) Abaye explained this verse: One of them (Jews from Eretz Yisrael) is worth two of us (Jews of the Diaspora)." That is true based upon the fact that regarding a person dwelling in Eretz Yisrael, his NR"N is from Yetzira, which is the second level up, whereas the NR"N of he who dwells in Chutz LaAretz is from Asiya, which is on the first (bottom) level. Therefore a person from Eretz Yisrael is worth two for he is from the second world. Yet the sages (ibid.) continue, "Rava said, 'if one of us goes up to Eretz Yisrael then he is worth two of them!'" It seems to be so, for he not only remains with his NR"N from Asiya, he also receives a NR"N from Yetzira. And that very NR"N of Asiya enabled him to receive the NR"N of Yetzira. Therefore his NR"N is double and therefore worth two of them (Jews from Eretz Yisrael). With that we can understand the continuation of the Talmud, "For Rav Yirmiyah, while he was here (Babylon), he couldn't understand what the rabbis were saying, yet when he ascended to Eretz Yisrael (and started to understand) he said that the Babylonians are stupid!" If…that person decides to leave Eretz Yisrael permanently, he must leave behind his new soul of Yetzira…

Let's return to the previous topic. When he who is born abroad and ascends to live in Eretz Yisrael permanently reaches the "The Ladder", he is divested of all the aforementioned kelipot. He only enters Eretz Yisrael with his Nefesh from the world of Yetzira. That Nefesh gets covered with his newly cleansed Nefesh of Asiya, as a sword fits into its sheath. If for some reason that person decides to leave Eretz Yisrael permanently, he must leave behind his new soul of Yetzira in Eretz Yisrael. Rather he takes with him his old Nefesh of Asiya, which gets enclothed by the kelipot in the same fashion mentioned above.,/P.

chanoch's Commentary

Kabbalah teaches that the midrash regarding mount Sinai being held above the heads of the children of Israel is when they received the additional desire to receive necessary to connect to HaShem properly. This is the reason that the Nefesh Ruach Neshamah from Sandalphon is cleansed and left as a covering over the NRN from Metatron. The result is a greater desire to receive that is necessary to live in the Land.

End of Chapter Seven.

The Land and the Ladder

Chapter Eight, Part 1

The borders of Israel have profound Kabbalistic significance.

Now we shall explain the essence of the "Ladder". Know that the Ladder is not physical, rather it is atmospheric. It encompasses all of Eretz Yisrael, protecting it and preventing the expansion of the kelipot into the Land. The width of this Ladder is four cubits and its' height is five hundred years. This Ladder has many levels [steps or rungs] ascending from the earth up to the firmaments. Some of these levels are internal while others are external.

Anyone departing Eretz Yisrael, as long as he hasn't gone further than four cubits past its border is considered as if he hasn't left. For within those four cubits, he is in the midst of the Ladder. Similarly, anyone who is entering Eretz Yisrael, and hasn't entered more than four cubits is as if he has not yet entered Eretz Yisrael.

Eretz Yisrael's boundaries are neither linear nor spherical….

This is the secret of the verse, "And His land [in Hebrew, 'admato'] shall atone for His nation" (Deut. 32:43). The word "admato" is made up of the letters that spell "d[alet] ammot" ["four cubits"]. They are what bring atonement for one's transgressions.

Even though the Ladder has linear dimensions, Eretz Yisrael's boundaries are neither linear nor spherical, rather they are in the form of a man lying face-up on the ground with his head towards the East. His two arms are stretched out, one to the north the other to the south. His two legs are open. The one big toe is facing towards Hor HaHar - which is in the northwest area. The other is facing the river of Egypt, which is the southwest area. Between his two legs enter the Mediterranean Sea, which is its western border. In this fashion we find that the dimensions of Eretz Yisrael are an array of strips large and small. Surrounding all these strips is the Ladder. The internal level of the Ladder is the side touching Eretz Yisrael, whereas the external level is the side facing Chutz LaAretz.

Once he has entered four cubits…into Eretz Yisrael, immediately 22,000 angels of purity descend….

Know that eleven thousand angels surround anyone who lives in Chutz LaAretz, as it is written, "A thousand shall fall at your right side, and ten thousand at your left." (Psalms 91:7). Upon entering Eretz Yisrael, these angels ascend the Ladder on the external side to the place where they belong. Yet once he has entered four cubits (the width of the Ladder) into Eretz Yisrael, immediately 22,000 angels of purity descend the Ladder on the side of Eretz Yisrael. These correspond to the twenty-two letters of the alef-beit that form the Torah. These angels then escort the one who has entered the Land. Twenty thousand surround his right side and two thousand on the left. A hint for this can be found in the verse, "G‑d's entourage is twice ten thousand, thousands of angels" (Psalms 68:18).

Twenty-two thousand angels encompass all those that live in Eretz Yisrael as well. Yet he who's mazal has changed for the worse, and has to leave Eretz Yisrael, when he approaches the outer edge of the Sulam to leave, immediately those 22,000 angels ascend the Sulam. They return to their rightful place. Upon exiting the Ladder, immediately eleven thousand angels descend from the outside of the Ladder and escort the person in his journey abroad.

This transference carries with it all the ramifications of the transition of Nefesh of Asiya to the Nefesh of Yetzira - which is from Eretz Yisrael, as was mentioned earlier. Thus far the words of Rav Chaim Vital, of blessed memory.

chanoch's Commentary

There is so much Kabbalistic information revealed in this chapter that must be determined by each student of Kabbalah. Send me what you think these secrets are by email for verification if you need it.

Prayer in the Land of Israel

Chapter Nine, Part 1

Kabbalah explains that prayer in Israel is in Real-Time.

We shall now explain the unique union that is accomplished through the prayers of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

The perspective we must have to start with is the concept that a person through his prayers has the power of "dividing flames of fire" (Psalms 29:7), namely, that when one prays, his words hew and pierce like flames of fire. The very breath that exits one's mouth transforms into intense spiritual forces.

All of the prayers of the world gather to the firmament above Eretz Yisrael…

The power of each word is determined according to one's intentions. Those forces created through our prayers are the very mystery of the rectification that fixes the air space of the world. Those forces remain present throughout the prayer until after the recital of Aleinu L'shabayach, until which time the prayers are adorned and bejeweled in a beautiful way. Upon the conclusion, those prayers ascend in their fixed form, from one firmament to the next, until they reach the entry way of the palace of Livnat HaSapir [literally, "Sapphire Stone"], and there she enters.

chanoch adds: The last prayer - Aleinu L'shabayach - that brings the person back to the level of consciousness called Malchut.

As was mentioned earlier, the Zohar (parashat Pekudei) states, "All of the prayers of the world gather to the firmament above Eretz Yisrael, and they wait until every last Jewish congregation finishes their prayers. At that time all the prayers are bound together and subsequently ascend before the Divine throne."

We should pay special attention to the source of the delay of the ascension of the prayers. "They must wait until all the congregations finish their prayers" is referring only to a time when the majority of Jews are in Eretz Yisrael. For within Eretz Yisrael the difference of the time of sunrise in the eastern most cities till the sunrise of the western most cities is only about a half-hour. That is so being that the width of Eretz Yisrael is only about 400 parasangs (an ancient Persian measure of distance). That is why it's feasible to wait for all their prayers. Yet, when the majority of the Jews are dispersed throughout the exile, if the prayers had to wait for each place on the globe, it would take too long. It would be a round-the-clock difference and at that time the next prayers would have already attempted to ascend. This would cause a lack of synchronicity in the ascension of the prayers.

When the sun rises for Israel, the shift of heavenly hosts of the morning commences their duties…

Yet, if there is no united ascension of the prayers then there is a lack of unity (and potency) of the prayers of the Community of Israel. This would mean that every district would be attempting to unite its own prayers throughout the day and night. Being that there exist set "shifts" of angelic forces to bring up the three different prayers, the inundation of all the different prayers attempting to ascend would wreak havoc.

chanoch adds: This is because Angels are not capable of multi tasking. They have a specific task to bring up a specific prayer.

This would add to our enigmatic question about the Shabbat observance throughout the exiles. For, due to the different time zones, there are people observing Shabbat in one part of the world whilst in other parts they have not yet begun. (We can find an approach from the book "Yesod Olam". Yet for our purposes we still need more.)

The G‑dly Rabbi Moshe Cordovero writes the following:

"My opinion in this issue can best be understood from the passage of the Sages: "The Jews whom dwell outside Eretz Yisrael serve idolatry in purity". (Avoda Zara 8a) The intention of the Sages in this statement is for us to know that the way that the heavens relate to the earth is not dependent upon any of the directions of the world, rather upon the Land of Israel alone. It is the choicest point of Creation, and is directly underneath the celestial portal of Livnat HaSapir.

When the sun rises for Israel, the shift of heavenly hosts (patrol of guards) of the morning commences their duties. Sunset in Israel is time of the changing of the celestial guards as well. In this fashion, the sentries throughout the year function. The entire calendar is solely determined by the vantage point of Eretz Yisrael. Therefore we mustn't be concerned with the location of the moon from outside Eretz Yisrael. Only the High Court in Eretz Yisrael had the power to set dates and sanctify the new moon and the holidays, for in Eretz Yisrael they had G‑d's approval, and hence His sanctification as well.

Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael is the essence and central point of all…

Whereas outside Israel, the courts never established dates. Even if they would have, they [the courts] wouldn't sanctify them, for they don't have that mandate.

chanoch adds: In my opinion, they refers to the heavenly courts who need to sanctify the human courts judgments.

Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael is the essence and central point of all. For the tranquility of the Shabbat is determined by the downward expansion of the holiness through the portal of the Livnat HaSapir towards Eretz Yisrael.

chanoch adds: Shabbat is the essence of Malchut of time which is the central column of the Sefirah of Tiferet. This paragraph is unifying space and time.

G‑d, in his infinite wisdom, established the orbits of the cosmos, choosing the exact place of Eretz Yisrael to be directly underneath this portal.

Eretz Yisrael is the only place where prayers are held-up waiting for other prayers to unite. This is because it is the place where a lofty unique unification occurs. This unification only occurs very seldom - namely at the point in time of the completion of the prayers of the Jews of Eretz Yisrael. Subsequently, the light from that unification expands outwards from that portal to the ruling spiritual forces of the rest of the nations. Those illuminated sparks of the Shechina spread out to them, as the aspect of "the exile of the Shechina". The Jews living in those countries…are dependent upon the time zone and boundaries of the 'spiritual ruler' of their country…

The Jews living in those countries cause that expansion, for they are not united in the times of their prayers. Rather they are dependent upon the time zone and boundaries of the "spiritual ruler" of their country. In this fashion we can understand the statement of the Sages: "The Jews outside of Israel serve idolatry in purity." For those Jews don't have their prayers synchronized with the celestial portal over Eretz Yisrael. Rather their prayers can only ascend by means of their archangel. Nonetheless, it is still considered "in purity", because those archangels receive their power from the expansion of the Shechina.

In a similar fashion is the sanctity of the Shabbat. For the Jews of Eretz Yisrael receive the divine flow and influence of the tranquility of Shabbat directly at the appropriate time of the "real Shabbat", whereas those dwelling outside Eretz Yisrael, based upon the spark of Shechina reaching their country, either precede or delay the real Shabbat.

Even the External Forces acquiesce to the resting on Shabbat…

Nonetheless, the time and level of tranquility that they experience is linked to the divine spark. The same is true for the rest of the holidays, except that the sages established a second day of Yom Tov for the exiles. The very name of "Yom Tov Shaynee Shel Galuyot" [literally "Second Holyday of the Exiles"] is definitely an expression to describe the state of the sparks of Shechina that are in exile - the cause of the extra day.

Regarding Shabbat, there is no second day added. This is true, being that even the External Forces acquiesce to the resting on Shabbat, and therefore don't take nourishment from it. This is seen by the fact that even Gehinom is closed for Shabbat. Likewise, the ruling forces of each country rest in accordance with the sunset in their vicinity. Whereas on Yom Tov they don't give acquiesce, and they do draw sustenance from the holiness of the day. Therefore they require a garment of one day for the other day. These are the two days of Yom Tov, the first, of Biblical origin, is enclothed by the [second] day, of Rabbinical origin - the light of holiness being enclothed by the light of the exile. Thus far the words of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero.

chanoch adds: This is the spiritual cause of the second day of Holidays.

Manna and the Fruits of Israel

Chapter Ten, Part 1

The fruits for which Israel is famous are rooted in the spiritual worlds

We must ask the following: Why was the Land of Israel deprived of the manna?

The answer to that question is as follows: In the desert, everything of a physical and materialistic nature stems from external forces. Those entities are essentially impure and grow in a land that is ruled upon by "foreign archangels". Therefore, the fruits that grow therein can not be worthy vessels to contain the spirit of holiness. This is because an impure body cannot become the vessel for the spirit of holiness. If there were to be some holiness in its fruits and food products, they would be provided for by their [evil spiritual] rulers. Yet that possibility could not exist when it came to manna. This is because the manna comes from heaven, a place where the forces of the "foreign archangels" have absolutely no grasp.

The very same spirituality that was enveloped by the manna, is enclothed by the fruits of Israel…

Nonetheless, the fruits of the Land of Israel stem from holiness. Therefore the very same spirituality that was enveloped by the manna, is enclothed by the fruits of Israel. That is why no manna fell in the Land of Israel. That is also why the after-blessing for fruits of the seven species in the Land of Israel concludes, "upon her fruits", as opposed to "upon the fruits". This that indicates that the holiness of the land resides in her fruits alone and not the fruits that grow outside the Land of Israel.

My Beloved Ramaz (Rabbi Moshe Zaccuto) comments: "The understanding of this is: The entire purpose for our existence is to sift out the sparks of light that have fallen into the realms of inanimate, plant, animal, human. (This is part of the mystery of the 288 sparks that remained from the days of Adam.) Therefore, even into the Garden of Eden the manna didn't descend for Adam. Rather he was commanded, as a positive mitzva, to eat from all the fruits of the garden, as per Rabbeinu Bachaya's explanation. Yet, in the desert the sprouting of fruits is supernatural, as it is not the essential function of the desert to contain those sparks. [Yet the manna fell for the Jews in the desert] for they had shed their defilement at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

chanoch adds: The Manna fell prior to the giving of the Torah. Yet after the majority of the Sefirot are cleansed through the Counting of the Omer.

Note: the 288 sparks… According to the Ari, this entire process of death and resurrection is hinted at in the word "merachefet". The first and last letters of this word spell "met", meaning "dead". The three remaining letters are reish, fei and chet. The numerical value of these three letters is 288. These are the 288 sparks of holiness that resided within the vessels that shattered at the beginning of creation.

The symbolic significance of the number 288 is alluded to in the word 'Ibur' whose numerical value is also 288. Ibur means "gestation" or "pregnancy," thus indicating that the broken vessels with their 288 sparks are similar to seeds that are planted in the ground. Although they may appear to be rotting, they are going through a process that is necessary in order to bring forth new life. The 288 sparks thus represent the profound concept of death and resurrection. Our task is to rectify these sparks. End Note

There exist ten different fruits which correspond to the ten sefirot…

Rav Chaim Vital has written: "There are thirty species of fruit that grow in the Land of Israel. Each species has many differing types. This can be seen from the seventy types of dates derived from the verse "And seventy date trees" (Ex. 15:27).

Behold in the realm of Beriya, there exist ten different fruits which correspond to the ten sefirot of Beriya. Since they are distant from impurity and are close to Atzilut, these fruits have neither shell nor pit. They can be eaten entirely. [The numerous strange types of fruit mentioned here are difficult to identify with modern terms. Please forgive this.] They are:





Lemons - chanoch adds: While the shell an be eaten, today, this is generally not done due to taste.



Berries - chanoch adds: In Hebrew there is no separate words for different berries. Berries are identified by color or other physical attributes.

Surabis - chanoch adds: Surabis is a cooked food from Thailand so is not recognized generally as a fruit. Refer to the apology above.


There are ten fruits correlating to the ten sefirot of Yetzira. Being that they are rooted from a place which is not too close to the impurity, yet they aren't so close to Atzilut either, therefore they have an inedible pit. They are:




Sofiafs - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation. It has no modern usage except as an environmental usage.


Cyruylas - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation. It has no modern usage.


Gindas - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation. It has no modern usage.

Acranias - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation. It is used in other languages.

Juyspulas - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation. It has no modern usage

The ten fruits that correspond to the ten sefirot of Asiya are surrounded by an inedible shell. This is so, being that it's in close proximity to the realm of impurity. The shell acts as a protective barrier, preventing the impurity from penetrating the holiness of the fruit. This is similar to the yetzer hara and the "shell" (in Hebrew, "kelipa") that surrounds the Nefesh of a person. These ten are as follows:





Brazil nuts

Alonim-Albutas - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation.

Frishis - chanoch adds: Unknown fruit translation.

Pinionas - chanoch adds: Probably a fruit or nut that looks like the outer section of a birds name.


Maosis - chanoch adds - Unknown fruit translation

Their names and numbers I have received, yet their exact correspondence to their particular sefirot, I haven't received, until a spirit shall descend upon us from above.

Behold the ten fruits of Beriya have had all waste removed, leaving them totally edible. Corresponding to them [in the realm of the forces of impurity] are the barren trees. They are entirely inedible, for they are like one big shell.

Vegetables …are not arrogant…

In opposition to the ten fruits of Yetzira are their own pits. This relates to the situation where the fallen spark of holiness is so great that the "shell" can not tolerate it's light in her midst. Therefore she closes in on herself and enters the middle of the light.

The ten fruits of Asiya, where the fruit is surrounded by the shell, are similar to where the "shell" has incorporated within itself a spark of holiness.

Opposite those thirty fruits are another thirty that stem from the "Left Side". They grow wildly on the trees of forests. The majority of which contain no real edible fruit. Rather they are mostly "shell", therefore the blessing recited over them is not "…Creator of the fruit of the tree" [in Hebrew, "Borei pri ha'etz", rather the blessing is "…that all comes into being via His power of speech", in Hebrew, "Shehakol nihiyeh b'dvaro", which is a more general blessing, applicable to any food]. Anyone who is meticulous in his actions should refrain from eating them, since they signify the "Left Side" - the force of evil…

The total number of edible fruits of the ground [in Hebrew, "ha'adama"] that were created is 55, as is the value of the word "ha'adama". Other than those 55 types of vegetables, nothing is worthy of consumption. Being that the vegetables are low [i.e. close to the ground], they are not arrogant and are able to grow from any type of water.

Rains of Israel

Chapter Ten, Part 2

Kabbalah details the various supernal sources of rain in the Land of Israel.

Know that everything G‑d created, He created male and female. This was in order to for them multiply. Even water was created with both aspects. G‑d created the firmament to separate between the two types of waters.

Wheat…is elevated above all other vegetables and can be considered as a fruit of the tree…

Know that all the vegetables do not require "male" waters (Mayin Dechurin) to grow, for they can even thrive with the "female" waters (Mayin Nukvin). That is true due to their humility. The one exception is wheat, as will be explained shortly. Whereas fruit trees, which are tall, i.e. arrogant, will not produce fruits unless they receive "male" waters. The exception to this is the etrog. The reason for its exception is that it is the choicest of fruit, for it can be consumed entirely, as well as its status of not being arrogant as the rest of the trees. Therefore as our sages have said, "The etrog grows on all waters" (Sukka 35a), meaning whether "male" or "female".

chanoch adds: What is the difference between male and female waters? I have heard from other Kabbalistic sources that male waters comes from above like meteors and rain. Female waters rises from below like springs and oceans.

Wheat, since G‑d has created it as the staple of nutrition, is elevated above all other vegetables and can be considered as a fruit of the tree. Therefore it will not produce fruit without "male" waters. That is why you might observe that some years, despite abundant rainfall, the land doesn't produce abundant crops, while in some years there might be a minimal rainfall, yet the crops abound. The wheat yield, however, depends upon "male" waters.

Note: fruit of the tree… There are opinions in the Talmud that the very Tree of Knowledge was a wheat tree. Likewise in the future, the wheat plant will produce kernels the size of "hot-dog" buns.

Don't be troubled with the way crops grow in Egypt. Even though it is apparent that "female" waters [i.e. from the Nile] are responsible for the crops, it is not so. This is as our sages have taught that each year, during the season of the month of Tamuz, G‑d places a rounded drop of "male" waters into the Nile. That drop is like the yeast in dough. It transforms all of the Nile's water to be considered as "male" waters. Therefore, Egypt doesn't require rainwater. The entire merit that Egypt has to constantly receive this yearly blessing is due to the prayers of Abraham. This is indicated by the verse, "And Abraham rose in the morning, and took some bread and a pouch of water, and gave it to Hagar [who was formerly an Egyptian princess] placing it upon her shoulder." (Gen. 21:14) Part of this can be understood, being that the archangel of Ishmael [the son of Hagar] is Rahav, who is also the archangel of Egypt and from the status of Egypt being second to Eretz Yisrael.

Eretz Yisrael stems from the realm of revealed lights, therefore her waters are mostly male…

My beloved Ramaz (Rabbi Moshe Zacuto) commented that "Hagar" has the same numerical value as "Rahav" (with the kolel). The idea is that Egypt has a minimal quantity of "male" waters, for the force of Egypt stems from the nape, or the "back", from the remnants of the World of Concealment, where the majority is "female" waters. Yet Eretz Yisrael stems from the realm of revealed lights, therefore her waters are mostly "male".

Note: stems from the back… In Hebrew, "oref", which is spelled by the same letters of the title of her monarchs, "Paro"

Just as Eretz Yisrael is the epitome of purity and holiness, therefore she specifically is watered from "male" waters. As it says, "To the rain of the heavens, you shall drink water" (Deut. 11:11). In order to fully understand this verse, one most open the wellsprings of his wisdom and the sources of his understanding, intelligence and knowledge.

chanoch adds: i have never seen this sequence before. i think the word in Hebrew being translated as intelligence is Sechel which is usually translated as brains. The words are referring to Chochmah Binah and Da'at. If i am correct about Sechel then the "brains" would refer to the upper 3 Sefirot of Keter Cochmah and Binah which are always in unity. Thus the sequence is referring to all of the upper Sefirot including Da'at.

Know that there are many aspects of normal rains [in Hebrew, "geshamim"], as well as many aspects of mighty rains [in Hebrew, "mataar"], as is known from the intentions one has for the blessings over things enjoyed. The foundation of supernal wisdom is called the "path", this path comprises of the elements of Ab, Sag, Mah, and Ban. The word for "path" is "shvil", whose numerical value equals that of "geshem", meaning "rain". Those are the rains of blessing from that foundation. Those rains are called the "male waters".

If you were to combine the word "peleh" (meaning "wondrous"), with "shvil", together they equal the word "tenna" (= 455). "Tenna" is also equal to the full spellings of the name Eh-yeh, the values which are 161, 143, 151 = 455. Interestingly the milui (alone without the letters of Eh-yeh itself) for those three spellings equals 140, 122, 130 equals 392, which is the numerical value of the word "geshamim"- rains. This is what is meant by the verse, "That You have given [in Hebrew, "tenna"] Your splendor above the heavens [in Hebrew, "hashamayim"]" (Psalms 8:3). In other words, being that "tenna" is the value of the three Eh-yehs spelled out, whereas "the heavens" is just the milui of those Eh-yehs. That is why the verse says "above the heavens". For that implies that "tenna" is more significant than "the heavens". The numerical difference between the two equals 63 which is representative of the three Eh-yeh's [each equaling 21] as well as Sag. The name Eh-yeh is always signifying a Makif…

chanoch adds: In modern times water above the heavens is known to be the water that comes to the earth in the form of meteors that burn up in the atmosphere. This leaves the water in the form of vapor which eventually solifies into rain. The modern theory about the water cycle which includes evaporation and rain and rivers running into the sea - plus the addition of meteor water.

In regard to "mataar", if we would exchange it in the Atbash code we would he arrive at "gani" [meaning "my garden"]. That is the essence of the verse "I have arrived to my garden" [in Hebrew, "Bati l'gani]", (Songs 5:1) for "gani" is equal to the three Eh-yehs (63). That is what Elijah meant in the verse, "For G‑d says to the snow, 'Be land', and to the rain [in Hebrew, geshem] be mighty rain, [mataar]" (Job 37:6) as will be explained shortly.

In the realm of bina, rain has a different aspect. For when one would delve into the depths of the Eh-yeh spelled out with the letter hei (where the letter hei is spelled by two heis), which is founded in bina, its value is 232 according to its shape.

chanoch adds: 232 is the gematria of the word Bracha meaning Blessing. The normal gematria of Bracha is 228 plus a colel for each letter which totals 232.

For the four heis in that milui, each can be described in three shapes. The hei can either be drawn (1) as a dalet and vav, (2) a dalet and yud, or (3) as three vav's. Altogether their values equal (4+6, 4+10, 6+6+6) = 42, times four (one for each of the heis in the milui) equals 168. Next we will add the yud of the milui. That equals twenty 20, yet the dalet of the yud, can be drawn as two vavs therefore we add another 12 giving us 32, together with the 168 we have so far 200. Then we can draw the alef as yuds, this would add another twenty for the yud vav dalet, yet again we can split that dalet into two vavs, therefore we will add another twelve, equaling 32; add the two hundred and all together it equals 232. Yet we haven't finished for we still have to contend with the lamed and pei of alef. Together with the alef itself they spell "peleh", that hints to the aspect of the narrow path [in Hebrew "shvil"], mentioned above which is called "wondrous" [in Hebrew, "peleh"]. It is wondrous, for one can discern in it neither a beginning nor an end.

[Notes: the yud of the milui… "Yud" is spelled yud (= 10), vav (=6), dalet (=4), totaling 20. draw the alef as yuds… The letter alef's shape is like a diagonal vav with one yud atop the vav and another underneath it.]

This is known as the instruction of the eternal connection between chochma and bina. That is why that supernal path is described as "wondrous", for it is the foundation of chochma in the yesod of bina. Also, the three Eh-yehs mentioned above, which are the foundation of bina, are bound to the path ["shvil"] and chochma. When one combines the 232 together with "peleh" (=111) it equals "geshem" 343. Those are the "Might of Rains", which are the yesod of bina, thus being called the "female waters". And further, the crown of the yesod of bina contains within it the three miluim of Eh-yeh whose numerical value equals "tenna" = 455.

Behold it is known that just as there exists Ab Sag Mah and Ban in the chochma and bina and the Zeir Anpin and Nukva. So to there are three miluim of Eh-yeh whose value equal 161 143, and 151, in the chochma and bina and Zeir Anpin and Nukva. That is true, being that the holy name Eh-yeh that resides in chochma only exists there on loan. Therefore in our discussion we will not deal with the milui in chochma. Rather we shall discuss the three different miluim.

Firstly, the milui of bina is filled with chochma; she then provides the influence to Zeir Anpin its numerical value is 160. The 160 of chochma remains to itself. Subsequently Zeir Anpin transfers the milui that he received from bina, yet its own milui gets filled by means of the illumination of bina to Rachel. At that time the Eh-yeh of Rachel gets filled. Subsequently all three miluim descended towards the worlds of the Beriya Yetzira and Asiya. That is why, the verse says, "in the heavens [in Hebrew, 'bashamayim'] and above" (Deut. 4 39). For the three miluim of Eh-yeh have the numerical value of the word "bashamayim", and they are "above" Zeir Anpin. This is because the three Eh-yehs are in the netzach-hod-yesod of bina. They then become the makifim of Zeir Anpin. This is true, being that the name Eh-yeh is always signifying a makif. Those three miluim of Eh-yeh are also, "And upon the land below" (ibid.). For at the beginning they gather at the yesod of Nukva. Afterwards they descend from below to the "land" - the worlds of Beriya, Yetzira and Asiya.

When Malchut…is receiving she is considered feminine, yet when she is influencing, she is considered male…

The word "bashamayim" with its collel is equal to "geshamim" ["rains"]. This is so, being that, by means of the abundance of influence in the Malchut, that very influence goes out in the number [form of] "geshamim" - rains. Behold that when the netzach-hod-yesod of bina enter the realm of Rachel, They enjoin the miluim of 161 and 151. Now that the netzach-hod-yesod of bina are no longer in Zeir Anpin, therefore the Eh-yeh of Zeir Anpin is simple without the milui. Therefore all that Rachel receives from Zeir Anpin is the simple Eh-yeh. When you combine the two miluim 161 and 151 together with the simple Eh-yeh (21) the total (333) equals the numerical value of "sheleg" [meaning "snow"].

chanoch adds: The highest form of Mikva is done with and by freshly fallen snow. It is called "Gilgul HaSheleg". For more information contact chanoch by email at

Yet when Malchut receives the three miluim, she in turn influences downwards. It is known that when she is receiving she is considered feminine, yet when she is influencing, she is considered male. That is why she takes for herself the level of masculinity from amongst the three miluim, which is the milui of 143. Then the influence that descends has the numerical value of "mataar" (249).

There are occasions that the Malchut takes a part of the three miluim (whose value total "geshamim" = 393), equaling "gash"- 303 (add 1 for the kolel to get 304), from the two miluim of 161 and 143 which equal 304. Therefore she only gives off to the realms below her the aspect of "mayim" (the remaining three letters of the word "geshamim"). All of this is dependent on the actions, and the awakening invested in the good deeds, of the Jews down here in Asiya.

chanoch adds: Are you feeling additional responsibility?

There are other times that the Malchut takes for herself of the three miluim the milui of 161 and adds to it the ten letters giving us the total of 171. This is similar to the concept of "When the Imma loans her vessels to her daughter" (Zohar 2a). Then, that which remains to give over to the realms beneath her is "yoreh" [the secondary rains], whose value is the remainder of the 392 - 171 =221. Being that, incorporated in that influence are aspects from Zeir Anpin and Nukva together, therefore it is "mar've" (literally "saturating", from the same root as the word "yoreh") the land and the seeds planted therein. (See Taanit 6a).

In the merit of tzedaka, rains descend to earth…

Yet there are still other occasions where the three miluim of Eh-yeh from bina and Zeir Anpin and the Malchut herself, join together. They are 161, 143, and 151, totaling 455. We have also said that in chochma itself, the Eh-yeh that is there is only on loan, therefore, she only gets from Abba a simple Eh-yeh - 21, without a milui. When you combine the three miluim of bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut together with this one Eh-yeh from chochma their total value is "malkosh" (primary rain) - 476. Being that she (malkosh) is filled with all the goodness, therefore the influence that she provides is called the "revia" (the quarterly, or saturating rain) that falls right before the harvest season and inflates the grains on the stalks.

Being that the root of the three miluim above, is the numerical value of "rains" [in Hebrew, "geshamim"], 393, therefore it is also the symbol of those influences; "geshamim" is therefore spelled by the first letters of those influences: 1) geshem, 2) sheleg, 3) mataar, 4) yoreh, 5) malkosh (or mayim). This is what is meant by the verse, "Just as the rains and the snow shall descend from the Heavens" (Isaiah 55:10), as well as the verse, "And I shall provide for you the rains [in Hebrew 'mataar'] in your land yoreh and malkosh." (Deut. 11:14), as well as the verse "To the rains of the Heavens you shall drink water". (Deut. 11:11).

It is known from the teachings of the Sages, "In the merit of tzedaka, rains descend to earth". This is hinted to by the fact that the words "tzedek" [meaning "justice"] and "tzedaka" together have the numerical value of 393, which is the value of "geshamim" (meaning "rains"). This is true because when one performs the mitzvah of tzedaka, he creates a union of both "tzedek" and "tzedaka" as is mentioned in the Zohar (Bechukotai 113b).

Let's return to our original topic. Just like there are waters which are rooted in the three miluim of Eh-yeh as mentioned above, there are also waters which are rooted in the four miluim of Havayah, namely Ab Sag Mah and Ban. Together, in those miluim, they have a combined nine yuds, totaling the numerical value of 90, which is the same value of the word "mayim" ["water"]. They are the "male" waters.

There is yet another form of water. If you would combine the Ab together with the milui of 161, representing chochma and bina. Between the two you have seven yuds, yet also there are two more taking form of the letter alef (the yud above the line and the yud below the line) of Eh-yeh. That brings us to a total of nine yuds [9x10 =90], again having the value of "mayim" (mem 40, yud 10, mem 40, =90), "water". This is the mystery of that which the Sages taught: "There are waters that give rise to the wise people, there are waters that give rise to imbeciles, and there are even waters that give rise to average people." The latter occurs when there are both the male and female waters being combined.

For a related discussion from the Arizal, see below

From the gate of reincarnations translations - See Chapter 10 of the Yeshshem Advanced Reincarnation Classes.

Parents to Children

Kabbalah explains father/son and teacher/student bonds - We will speak further about children born to fathers.

Obviously, children are born to fathers and mothers, but the Arizal is specifying here the father only. The reason will become clear at the end of the section when he talks about Asa-el. In some children, the dominating driving force comes from the father, and sometimes to an extreme degree.

When a man unites with his wife in intimacy, from the energy of the father there is drawn the son's Surrounding Light. Also, the aspect of Internal Light is drawn from the energy of the mother.

chanoch adds: In my opinion, Inner light represents the personality of the baby. - Note that personality is a deeper level of character traits in Kabbalah. Surrounding Light represents the potential Light that the person is capable of revealing and transforming into inner light during his or her lifetime.

It was mentioned earlier that all things consist of two aspects, Light and Vessel. These two also consist of two aspects each. There is the internal part of a vessel, and the external part. Similarly, there are two aspects of Light; they are the Internal Light and the Surrounding Light.

The Internal Light is the aspect of light that enters into the vessel. It is contained within the vessel under pressure because it cannot easily expand outward. The Surrounding Light, on the other hand, does not enter into the vessel, but hovers around it. It is much less concentrated because it is not contained within the limited space of the vessel, although it is always connected and associated with the vessel, and always shines upon it. The amount of light that enters into the vessel is always much more limited than the Surrounding Light…

Also, the amount of light that enters into the vessel is always much more limited than the Surrounding Light which is not forced into a limited space. Therefore, the Surrounding Light is considered greater and of a higher quality than the Internal Light. That is why it is the Surrounding Light that brings about miracles, whereas normal, everyday affairs are in the province of the Internal Light.

The process of transmission from parent to son is the same irrespective of whether it is Surrounding Light or Internal Light. The Light is clothed within the NHY of the soul of the parent, as was taught in the previous section. - see advanced reincarnation classes.

Now, since the Surrounding Light is greater, it is associated with the sefira of the right side, which is also the higher one, called chochma and Abba. Correspondingly, the Internal Light is associated with bina, called Imma.

Now, at the time of their unification it is possible that both parents will concentrate upon the mitzvah and holiness.

The mitzvah is what we have been commanded "…And G‑d said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it'" (Gen. 1:28). The intimacy that derives from the long-term relationship of husband and wife is also considered by many to be part of the completion of the mitzvah. The characteristics and qualities of the children depend upon the thoughts and behavior of the parents at the time of conception…

chanoch adds: In my opinion, the actual issue is the unity or disunity of the thoughts of the parents at the moment of conception. An example of disunity would be the father thinking about an actress not his wife and the mother thinking of cleaning the house not her husband. from this it should be easy to understand what is meant by unity.

The mitzvah should be done in purity and holiness, and in that way it increases the holiness of husband and wife, and it increases holiness throughout the world. This is a very important subject in the Kabbala, but this is not the place to even begin the subject. In addition to the laws of Family Purity that must be known, the reader may also refer to the Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha'ezer #25 concerning the set and setting of the mitzvah, and to the important kabbalistic book ascribed to the Ramban (Nachmanidies), called Da'at Kedusha - Knowledge of Holiness.

Now, the Arizal is adding here the well-known Kabbalistic rule that when the mitzvah is performed with purity and holiness and proper thoughts, then it also increases the holiness of the offspring. Another important, associated Kabbalistic rule is that the characteristics and qualities of the children depend upon the thoughts and behavior of the parents at the time of conception.

Alternatively, the concentration of both of them may not be for the sake of the mitzvah, but for their own pleasure, or for evil.

Marital intimacy without pleasure is just as bad as when the partners are only thinking about satisfying their own physical desire for stimulation and pleasure. Indeed, children born from intercourse where there was no pleasure are likely to be damaged physically or mentally. On the other hand, the desire that the partner's have for each other is a positive factor in the determination of the child's level of intelligence.

However, when their thoughts and concentration are only on physical pleasure then the quality of their unification plummets downward towards zero. In addition, such people are likely to do other things that are wrong: in the preparation for their meeting, in the setting of the intimacy, and in the human dynamics of their relationship. Thus, their unification can actually, eventually, take place in the realm of evil, G‑d forbid. They give birth to devils!

Alternatively, the concentration of the father might be for good, whereas that of the mother is bad, or vice versa.

If both of them are thinking about (the holiness) of the mitzvah, then the child will be a perfect tzadik in Surrounding Light and in Internal Light. If the intentions of both of them were for evil (purposes), then the child will be completely evil in Surrounding Light and in Internal Light.

If the father's intentions were for good, but that of the mother was bad, then the Surrounding Light of the child will be righteous, but the Internal Light will be wicked. With the passage of time the Surrounding Light will overcome the Internal Light, and he will be completely righteous. This is because the Surrounding Light includes the Internal Light, and it [the Surrounding Light] will overturn it to purify it.

The Surrounding Light includes the Internal Light because they were originally like one light. Some of the original light entered into the vessel, but most of it remained outside. Thus, the light that is inside the vessel was once included within the greater light that remained outside.

There are some children who are very sharp and they cannot stay still, whereas some children are lazy and move very heavily…

Since the Surrounding Light is greater than the Internal Light, the former will conquer the latter and change it entirely, if necessary, into something good. The quality of the two Lights, in turn, will influence the child's character and behavior, and even many of the things that will happen to him throughout his life.

If the father's intentions are for evil, but the mother's is for good, then the Surrounding Light will be bad and the Internal Light good. However, after a time the Surrounding Light that is bad will overcome the good Internal Light and it will also become bad.

Nevertheless, it seems from the following words of the Arizal that the situation is not clear-cut black and white. There are degrees. There are other factors.

If you want to know if the power of the father or of the mother will dominate, then you can recognize it by the lightness or heaviness of the son.

It is not clear-cut that the power of the father always dominates. There are other factors that alter the determination. It is possible for the power of the mother to sometimes dominate. These other factors, however, are not the subject of the Arizal here. Rather, he wants to describe now how it can be known if the light coming from the father will dominate, or vice versa, and the consequences upon the child.

The Internal Light is limited and it is not dynamic, but the Surrounding Light moves around outside and propels a person to the place that it wants. Consequently, if you see a person who is "light like an eagle and runs like a deer" in all his activities and quick in all his work, it is because the Surrounding Light that comes from the energy of the father dominates over him.

chanoch adds: Please be careful in discerning these attributes in people. Remember that a person who has Gemini in their astrological chart may exhibit "running like a deer" due to the traits of "quickness" associated with Gemini.

Yehudah ben Tayma said, "Be bold like a panther, light like an eagle, swift as a deer and strong like a lion to do the will of your Father who is in Heaven" (Mishna Avot 5:20).

On the other hand, if you see someone who is lazy and moves heavily, it teaches that it is the Internal Light from the side of the mother that is dominant.

Now, everything goes according to their deeds, by which I mean that if the father's intention at the time of intercourse was for the mitzvah, then this child will be quick to do the work of Heaven, and he will be very great in Torah. However, if his father's intentions were [only] for his own enjoyment, then he will be quick in the tasks of this world.

The opposite is also true. If he is slow moving, when his mother's intention was for the mitzvah, then he will be lazy to do the work of this world. However, if her concentration was not upon the mitzvah, then the son will be lazy in the work of Heaven.

Having said this it is possible to understand why there are some children who are very sharp and they cannot stay still, whereas some children are lazy and move very heavily.

The children of the first group are those heavily influenced by the Surrounding Light. The second are those influenced by the Internal Light.

High magnitudes of Surrounding Light…can produce a power capable of overriding natural law…

This is the reason that Asa-el the brother of Yoav was unfathomably light upon his feet.

The story of Asa-el the brother of Yoav is told in Chapter Two of Samuel II.

The sages said that he could run over the stalks of grass without bending them.

In other words, he ran so swiftly that his weight never came to rest upon the surface. Before it could rest, he was already gone from there. It seems to us that the sages are speaking here metaphorically. However, the Arizal is insisting that we take their words here literally.

chanoch adds: Please note that the Name Asa-el is also cognate, meaning sounds like, the Angel Azael mentioned in the Zohar in section 69 of Beraisheet Bet of the Sulam Commentary.

Definitely a Midrash of the Sages cannot digress from its simple meaning. However, with what was mentioned here it is understandable. The energy of his father was over-dominating, and there was no maternal energy within him at all. The Surrounding Light was totally augmented within him, and he was almost able to fly through the air.

It seems to me that the point of the Arizal here is to teach that high magnitudes of Surrounding Light, combined with proper intentions and thought patterns at the time of conception, can produce a power capable of overriding natural law and provide an instrument for wondrous miracles.

There are even more categories to be discussed, yet any more elaboration on the subject would be burdensome.

Returning to the Sefer - Tuuv HaAretz - Goodness in the Land

Traits of Israel's Waters

Chapter Ten, Part 3

Kabbalah details the traits of the various types of irrigation

At the time of the construction of the First Temple, which represented the realm of the supernal bina, the average vine required an entire city to harvest its fruits. Even later on, in the times after the destruction of the Second Temple, we see Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi using a wild depiction of the bounty of the Land: "We saw the cuttings of the vine to be the size of calves", (Ketubot 112a) as well as other outrageous statements as to the greatness of the produce of the Land.

When the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael were good, the rains were blessed…

When the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael were good, the rains were blessed, for they came as a result of the combination of chochma and bina. At one time the divine influence came solely from chochma, and at other times it came solely from bina, and yet at other times it came from the combination of the two. Everything was dependent upon the actions of the Jews. This is what is meant by the verse "And to the rains of the Heavens you shall drink water". (Deut. 11:11) If you merit it, you shall receive "male" waters alone; not the lower male, i.e. Zeir Anpin, rather from the "supernal chochma" [in Hebrew, "chochma elyona", i.e. Abba], which has the same numerical value as "mataar" [Hebrew for "rain"]. He is referred to as the "Upper Heavens", for the miluim of the three Eh-yehs mentioned above, together with the three kolels equal "Hashamayim" [Hebrew for "the heavens"]. This is because they come from the masculine alone, and the rains come from the "shvil" [Hebrew for "channel" or "pathway"], whose numerical value equals that of "geshem" [another Hebrew word for rain] (which is from the yesod of chochma alone). The water that "you shall drink" (from the above verse in Deuteronomy) comes from the nine yuds of the divine names Ab Sag Mah and Ban, of chochma.

If the Jews didn't have much merit, then the verse "to the rains of the heavens you shall drink water" (ibid.) should be applied in the following manner. This "matar" (numeric value = 249) remains from the value of the word "bashamayim" [meaning "in the heavens" - 392], when you remove the milui of 143. "Bashamayim" together with the three kolels equals "hashamayim" ["the heavens"]. That is what is meant by the words "To the mataar ['rains'] bashamayim ['in the Heavens']": the rains that comes out of the heavens.

"Geshem" (= 343) is from the Reish Lamed Beit and the Pei Lamed Alef (232 + 111) that join as a result of the union of chochma and bina. The "waters" ["mayim" = 90] that you shall drink is from the name Ab and the spelling-out of the name Eh-yeh with yuds [known by its numerical value "161" or "Kasa"] that together have nine yuds (9 X 10 = 90). [Note: the above two names have a total of only 7 yuds; perhaps the author included the simple spelling of each name, Havayah and Eh-yeh, each having one yud.] All of this is from the "male" [in Hebrew, "zachar", which equals 227] and the "female" ["nekeiva", which equals 163], whom, together with the kolel of the two words [2], have the same numerical value as "bashamayim" [227 + 163 + 2 = 392]. Eretz Yisrael drinks first, then the rest of the world…

If the Jews don't even have that much merit, then the way to understand the verse "To the rains of the heaven you shall drink water" shall be as follows: The root of the word "mataar" ["rain"] is from the realm of Sag, for the word "mataar" in the Atbash system is "gani" [meaning "my garden"], whose numerical value is 63 (Sag). The "geshamim" ["rains"] will be from the three miluim of Eh-yeh in bina alone. And the "waters" will be those that remain from "geshamim" when you remove the 161 and the 143. Effectively, all the waters will be "feminine".

Those three levels were from the Zeir Anpin and Nukva in the times of the Second Temple. If the Jews were meritorious in their majority, then the influence would descend from the "masculine" aspect alone. If the Jews were half-and-half, then the influence would be mixed. And if the majority if the Jews were culpable, then the influence would descend in the "feminine" form alone.

Yet if the Jews were culpable of heinous transgressions such as idolatry, or abandoning the ways of the Torah and not studying its precepts, then even the "feminine" waters didn't fall for them. This is hinted to in the verse "And they encamped in Refidim, and there was no water for the nation to drink". (Ex. 17:1) The intention of the verse is that there was "No water" [in Hebrew, "Ayn mayim"] whose numerical value is 151 [or "Kana", the name and numerical value of the name Eh-yeh spelled out with the letter hei], which is also representative of the feminine waters that they were missing. That was caused by either the idol of Micah that they had with them, or from the fact that they had stopped learning Torah. All of the above is still applicable nowadays.

Behold, from all of the types of influences mentioned above that would fall for the Jews, only a "watered-down" version would be given to the seventy ministers of the [archetypal] Seventy Nations. This is just like the teaching of the Sages: "Our Rabbis have taught that Eretz Yisrael drinks first, then the rest of the world. Eretz Yisrael gets pure rain and the rest of the world gets theirs watered down. Eretz Yisrael is watered by The Holy One Blessed Be He himself, whereas the rest of the world is watered by a messenger, as the verse says, 'He gives water on the face of the Land and sends the water to the face of the outlying boundaries.'" (Job 5:10, Taanit 10a)

Bina contains within herself fifty gates through which she gives over the rains…

The understanding of this is as follows: Bina contains within herself fifty gates through which she gives over the rains. This is what is meant by the word in the above verse, "HaNotayn" [meaning "He gives"] - which can be understood to spell "Nun tenna" [meaning "the number 50 shall give"]. Of course, the word "tenna", as mentioned earlier represents [i.e. equals] the three miluim of Eh-yeh, which are rooted in bina. So from the three miluim, the rain descends to the Eretz Yisrael. All of this is dependent upon the good deeds of the Jews.

Yet the rest of the verse, "…And sends water to the face of the outlying boundaries", refers to outside of Eretz Yisrael, where the waters are first given to 'Satan' and Ra'av, only subsequently to be distributed to the Seventy Nations. This is why the word for "sends" in the above verse ["shalayach"] is spelled missing the letter vav: its numerical value (338) is equal to the words 'Satan' (= 131) and Rahav (= 207). They are the messengers of G‑d for this task.