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:

About the Author

By David Slavin -the Translator of this book

Rabbi Nathan Schapira published this holy book in 1655. Rabbi Schapira made the arduous journey to Eretz Yisrael from Cracow during the second quarter of the 17th century. He was the son of one of the most prominent leaders of the community of Cracow. He himself was one of the rabbinical leaders of that city as well. His uncle was a famed kabbalist of the same name who is famous for his Magnus Opus, the "Megale Amukot".

According to testimonial writings of the times, we find that Rabbi Schapira was considered a venerable scholar upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael. He learned together with two other rabbis who themselves were deeply involved with disseminating the writings of the Arizal, namely, Rabbi Yaakov Tzemach and Rabbi Meir Paparush. Through them he had free access to a vast array of manuscripts of the Arizal that they had been safeguarding.

Rabbi Schapira became the chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Jerusalem, shortly after his arrival. He assumed the responsibility of providing for his constituents both spiritually and materially. Therefore, when the health and finances of the community deteriorated to an overwhelming level, he took upon himself the onerous burden of Rabbi telling throughout Europe to raise the funds necessary to rehabilitate the city.

The financial straits were caused by a lack of donations from Eastern Europe. This was due to the mass destruction and annihilation of Jewry throughout the Polish and Russian communities in 1648-1650, by Bogdan Chmielnetsky and his revolution. Therefore, the Rabbi fled to Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands and possibly England to raise the funds.

It appears that this holy book was written during his first journey to Italy. There he was encouraged and assisted by the Ramaz (Rabbi Moshe Zaccuto) to print this treatise. The Ramaz not only edited the book but raised the finances as well. It stands to reason that the Ramaz felt that this very book would encourage people to contribute generously to allay the difficulties in Eretz Yisrael.

Our translation and commentary is by R. David Slavin.

Uniqueness of the Land

Chapter One, Part 1

By Rabbi Nathan Schapira; translation & commentary by David Slavin

"Hearken to the word of G-d". Lovers of intellect, fashioners of reverence, flee for yourselves from "Keziv" until "Amana". These are names of biblical cities. chanoch adds: See below: These concepts are befitting for the tables of kings, "Who are the kings? The sages". For I shall say poignant statements, and I will make known the veracity of the true words based on the foundations of the reliable Kabbalistic teachings emanated from the mouth of the "ark of faithful testimony", "great of biblical light", "the revealer of great depths", "the great honored holy wondrous rabbi", "as an angel of G-d": Rabbi Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi, known as the Arizal. And from his successor, the father of wisdom, who fulfilled his task as the faithful student "The one who emanates G-dly light" the honored Rabbi Chaim Vital, of blessed memory. My words shall flow with the pleasantry and harmony of both together. "Hearken yea, and rejuvenate your souls" (Isaiah 55:3) with the words of the Arizal regarding the greatness of the Land of Israel. From just the edge of them you shall see visions of G-d. For are not his words based upon the passage from the Holy Zohar, "In the firmament above the Land of Israel exists a portal called G'vilon; under it exists seventy other portals with seventy guards at a distance of 2000 cubits, and they don't approach the main portal. G'vilon extends upwards until it reaches the Divine Throne. From that portal towards all directions, until the gates of opening, is referred to as Megadon, where the end of the firmament of the boundary of the land of Israel lies."

chanoch's Commentary

Each Name of a location in the Tanach has many levels of information and connection. In our study of the animal called lion we read a verse from Job which has this same name of a city "Amana". It is spelled in Hebrew like this אמנה. Please note that the word Amen - Aleph Men Nun is the shoresh or root of this city name. Amen as we know represents a center or middle point that connects the spiritual and physical worlds. Keziv translates as "like brightness". This word also means "deceitfull."

The above paragraph includes a flowery description of the soul of the ARIzal and His student Rabbi Chaim Vital. This is quite normal for the way Kabbalists speak of the Arizal and his student. we in this generation find it difficult to understand how a human being can be referred to as "The Godly Rabbi Isaac". Yet this is something that is necessary for a student of the ARIzal to develop within themselves - How High is the ARIzal relative to the last few generations. Also how important this type of information that was revealed by the ARIzal is to our generation.

The words / names G'vilon and Metadon also need to be analyzed Kabbalistically. Unfortunately i do not have access to the Hebrew spelling of these Names. This is why it is so important to read books on Torah that have both the original language and a valid translation.

returning to the reading

The Arizal explains that in the middle of this gate and opening, which is in line with Eretz Yisrael, there is a large opening. Around that opening there are seventy openings from which the seventy nations of the world receive their sustenance (which is only a fraction of the divine influence that flows from that large gate). In that very gate there is a holy curtain which prevents the forces of the Other Side from being nurtured from the influx, as is mentioned in the Zohar (Teruma 141a). This curtain is a garment as well, rather, being that it is holy, therefore the holiness is not revealed in our time.

chanoch's Commentary

The Parasha of Teruma deals with the subject of the Mishkan and the creation of the physical world. This paragraph is explaining that the flow of Shefa goes through the land of Israel. This Shefa fulfills all nations as well as the Children of Israel. When someone is in exile they are being fulfilled using a different route for that flow of Shefa.

Eretz Yisrael exists in the middle of the world

The opening is in the middle of the firmament and consequently influences the land underneath it. Yet there is another curtain which functions as a preventative, so that the Other Side shouldn't gain entrance to Eretz Yisrael.

chanoch's Commentary

Notice that the word for protection is "curtain". What is the difference between a curtain - window - and a wall? Nothing gets past a wall. A window lets certain energy through and allows someone to peer out. A curtain moves with the wind only when the window is open. A curtain always moves back to block the flow of the wind. the curtain is flexible and adjustable. How many curtains are there? On the physical level the Van Allen Belts of energy is a physical metaphor for the curtain mentioned as a protection shield. There are 7 van Allen belts.

This entrance is in line with the middle of all the firmaments until it reaches the level of "yesod of malchut", The yesod of malchut is the ninth particular sefira of the general sefira of malchut, which is the tenth of the general system of sefirot. the holy essential point of all the realms up to the Holy Throne; this is the very path that all souls upon sleeping and prayers use to ascend. Even though the Zohar states elsewhere that "prayers ascend in the east and west", that is in regards to the ascension through the airspace until they all meet under this portal. These firmaments are not moveable. They are permanent, therefore their openings are constantly aligned directly over Eretz Israel. Yet the heavenly bodies do rotate around in the firmaments.

We find that our meaning of a "permanent firmament" refers to the one in which exists that portal. When we refer to the rotating bodies, the rotating is done by the bodies not the firmament. Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Eliezer focus not on the path of orbit, rather the star that follows the path. For they have said, "the astrological zodiacal planetary force has a cycle, not the firmament". For the orbit and planet on its path are referred to as the planet alone. For the planet is the point of the orbit - its soul. The orbit itself is of the aspect of the "Secret of the Igulim (Circles)" The concept of Igulim is a realm of a rather constant, enveloping divine influence; it is vaguely similar to what is known as "Or Makif". Most of the Kabbalistic literature seems to pay little attention to it, rather focusing its explanations of the realm of Yosher (hierarchical divine influence). of each world.

chanoch's Commentary

There are two kinds of lights - Direct light and Returning light. There are two kinds of vessels - Ohr Makif and Ohr Penimi. There is a relationship between these two different metaphors as well as the concept of Line and Circles. This is a third metaphor. To truly study these requires a discussion of the ten luminous emanations by Rabbi Ashlag.

Rabbi Chaim Vital z"l wrote, "Know that Eretz Yisrael exists in the middle of the world (civilization). Corresponding to it, in the firmament above it in its middle, there is a large opening the size of the land of Israel. It is named G'vilon. From that opening downward there are another seventy gates, totaling 71, which corresponds to the 71 head rabbis of the Sanhedrin. These 71 gates are known as "Shaarei Tzedek (gates of righteousness)", and they are holy gates, for they are not of the portion the nations. Surrounding these gates is a space measuring 2000 cubits [a cubit is a measurement equal to a handbreadth] in each direction, at which point the boundaries of that firmament end. These 2000 cubits are the root of the rabbinic injunction of the city limits. The Rabbis established the limits of the boundary of a city to extend 2000 Cubits past the last home of the town in each direction. Within those limits one was allowed to walk on the Shabbat, yet walking past those limits would be a violation. At the end of this firmament there is a door that closes off the firmament over Eretz Yisrael; it is open and closed by the Holy One blessed be He. The name of this door is Megadon.

chanoch's Commentary

The Hebrew words G'vilon and Megadon need to be explained as said above. we have not done this yet. The 2000 cubits relate to a spiritual law associated with the Holy system and the impure system. i can not say more at this time.

[When Joshua entered the Land of Israel he passed through this door and established one of the blessings in the "grace after meals" known as "Hazan" which concludes "Upon the Land and sustenance". The numerical value of 'sustenance' ("hamazone" = 108) equals Megadon. Numerical value is a system of assigning a number value for each letter, aleph = 1, beit = 2,…yud = 10,chaf = 20…kuf = 100,reish = 200 This is the secret of the verse "The name of G-d is a tower of strength, through it a righteous man shall race and be strong" (Proverbs 18:10). The last three words beginning letters spell the word tzvi (deer). This implies that the tower of strength is called the "Land of the Deer (tzvi)", within which dwells the Name of G-d, which is the Shechina [The Divine Presence, usually connoting a feminine aspect]. And with it shall run yesod (the foundation) The ninth sefira, the precursor to malchut, the tenth., which is called the tzadik through the opening and door known as G'vilon Megadon whose numerical value (204) equals the value of tzadik (204). That is the secret of the verse "this is the gate for G-d, tzadikim (righteous people) shall enter it" (Psalms 118:20).]

chanoch's Commentary

It is important to realize that these spiritual descriptions are different than our perceptions of physical descriptions. Tzadikim are channels for HaShem to work through. This is the meaning of "Gate".

Through these seventy one gates are nourished the inhabitants of the Land of Israel. They are in correspondence to the seventy souls of the house of Jacob. The secret of this is that they correspond to the seventy branches of the Etz Hachaim (the supernal tree) Literally the "tree of life", yet it alludes to a level of divine revelation of a very lofty nature.. Therefore, each branch has its own gate, and not all Jews are sustained through one gate. The most central opening is opposite the Shechina, which is referred to as "Righteousness shall lodge in it", whereas the remaining seventy are called "gates of righteousness".

chanoch's Commentary

The number 70 comes from the 7 lower Sefirot with a structure of 10 sefirot within each of the 7. The 12 Tribes relate to the 70 nations. The Shefa "feeds" the 12 Tribes of the Children of Israel which relates to the 72 Nations.

Over Israel there is not any shell or membrane separating G-d from us

Surrounding these gates is a space measuring 2000 cubits in each direction. At which point ends the boundaries of the firmament of Eretz Yisrael. There dwell the seventy overlords each in charge of a different gate. They derive sustenance for their countries from the remnants of the influence that Eretz Yisrael receives, yet they (these overlords) do not actually get close to the gates themselves. The rest of the firmament ends in seventy strips, each ruling force controls the strip for his country. The firmament that corresponds to Eretz Yisrael and all the extensions are all one firmament, but the air-space directly over the land of Israel has those seventy gates around it. The same holds true for all ten levels of heavens all the way up to the Divine Throne. That being so, there is a direct channel open between the land and G-d's throne. This makes it easy to understand the verse that says; "The eyes of G-d are observing the land of Israel all year round" (Deut. 11:12). This implies that over Israel there is not any shell or membrane separating G-d from us. Through this very same channel ascended the incense sacrifice, as well as the scent of all the other sacrifices that were brought in the Holy Temple (may it be speedily rebuilt).

chanoch's Commentary

Understand the above paragraph well. My understanding is the following: there is a firmament which is an energy membrane. There are gates in this membrane which allow Shefa to flow down and prayers to flow up. This flow goes through a central pipe directly from the physical world of earth to the Throne of HaShem. Around this central pipe are 70 gates of 2000 cubits in all 6 directions which allow the flow to go directly to the Children of Israel who live in the Land of Israel. Outside of these Gates the Angelic Cheiftans receive the energy they need to provide for their children or nation. We will learn later that when a child of Israel is in exile he is receiving his Shefa not from HaShem but through the Angelic Messenger for the land and nation that that child of Israel lives within. The Child of Israel who lives in Israel receives his Shefa flow directly from HaShem through the Gates discussed above.

Please note that the Land of Israel is unique since the Shefa flows directly from HaShem through the Gates and to the Children of Israel who live in the Land of Israel.

"Other Side" in the Land

Chapter One, Part 2

Due to the inequities of the generation of the destruction of the Holy Temple, the forces of the Other Side [the klipot] Translated most literally as "husks" or "shells", usually refers to the tendency of the forces of evil to try to create barriers between the Jewish people and G-d extended a membrane from all directions surrounding Eretz Yisrael towards the middle of the opening [above the Land, as mentioned above]--to the extent of sealing off the flow of divine connection from the supernal Jerusalem with the physical Jerusalem, hence the destruction.

chanoch's Commentary

i disagree with the idea of the Kelipot usually try to create barriers between the Children of Israel and HaShem. This is the effect. The cause is the Kelipot are unable to absorb the Light / energy directly. They need a barrier or body between the inner light and themselves. This is why they are described as a shell or husk. These shells surround the light spark and do not let that light expand outwards from there.

We must bear in mind that when the membrane of the Other Side interfered, they didn't seal up the opening at one time [of the destruction], rather the consequences of the idolatry and other transgressions drew forth those forces little by little, until the opening was completely sealed, then came the destruction. We see from the first destruction an example of this. In that first destruction, the exile started with the portion of land under control of the ten tribes, gradually working its way to the kingdom of Judah and finally to the place of Zion, the Temple, which is the center of the world.

chanoch's Commentary

This also is true for the second Temple destruction. First the outer areas were taken over on the physical level by Rome and then Jerusalem was attacked and when Jerusalem fell the Temple wall was breached and then the process became complete with the destruction which is actually the seed of the construction of the Third Temple. Remember the blueprint for the Third Temple was revealed prior to the destruction of the Second Temple.

The Land itself is inherently holy…

Now we must know that the Land itself is inherently holy, having been apportioned by G‑d as special, as opposed to the rest of earth. Being thus, how is it possible for the kelipot to enter this G-dly portion of land? Therefore, the answer to this question is that in truth the kelipot have absolutely no portion in the Land. The best way to understand the phenomena is by parable: A landowner has a servant who has fled his master's servitude. Instead, he works for another man. One day the original master walks in, finds his servant, and takes him back to where he belongs. So too, the Jewish people have acquired for themselves a master through their transgressions. This "master" is the kelipot, and daily they sacrifice and serve their master. Yet they live in a land not belonging to their "master"; the kelipot have the right to enter the Land of Israel and take what is "rightfully" theirs, forcibly removing them [their "servants"] to their lands. Yet immediately after that, the gate is reopened. One may ask if the holiness returned to its original place, then how could the Land remain in a state of destruction? The answer is, that the Shechina ascended to its heavenly abode, while the Jews were exiled from their land to the land of the gentiles, leaving the land desolate without her children or husband. Therefore, it wasn't significantly re-inhabited until that time when G-d gazed down from the heavens. The holiness left in order not to dwell amongst the impurity, for that is its custom, as is known from the secret of tumat met [in Hebrew, impurity from the dead]. Literally, the "impurity of the dead". The source of this impurity stems from the absence of the soul, the holiness, from the body. This creates a sort of vacuum inviting the impurity. That being the situation, G-d has placed a curtain of holiness in that opening in that firmament above the Land of Israel, thus creating a partition between the impurity and the holiness. The Land is likened to an aguna A woman whose husband is missing. Without any proof of his whereabouts or death, she remains legally married to him despite his absence; she is probably in the most tragic position. who can not marry another.

chanoch's Commentary

Is this parable clear to you? If not let's ask questions about it. If the halachic Rabbis dealing with the Aguna issue knew what this book is describing, they would be able to find a method to release the physical Aguna now that the people of Israel are again living in the Land of Israel. This is my opinion.

Israel remains desolate…from a lack of fulfilling positive mitzvot

The intention of this curtain [according to Rav Chaim Vital's transmission of the Arizal's teachings] is: It is known that at the time the malchut clothes itself with gevura and din [judgment]. At that time the din functions through the external-most garment, which is the hue of techelet A hue of blue which is described by Chazal as being like sea blue. This dye was used for many sacred purposes, i.e. Tzitzit, the priestly garments, The Mishkan [Tabernacle], etc. Techelet implies eternity as in the sea, the sky, and G-d's throne. which completes [from the root of the word "chole", which means to finish] everything. Thus at that point even the chitzonim [external forces] fear the malchut, as the wrath of the King. Therefore, when the external forces see the malchut thus clothed, they flee from there. That is the essence of the "light covering" as is mentioned in the holy Zohar (part two page 141) which is the secret of the outermost garments, which in the end are the innermost garments; they are also called the 'holy curtain' relative to the internal garments. Therefore, the external forces can't enter there. So too, the blessing and bounty are prevented from entering due to the might of the din that is incorporated in that veil. That din prevents the descent of the blessings which is all a result of the lack of merits and abundance of inequities amongst the Jews. That is why the land of Israel remains desolate: not because of the impurity, rather from a lack of fulfilling positive mitzvot.

chanoch's Community

The logic of this is difficult to follow yet the final statement is essentially true. How does the change to the modern state of Israel reflect on this? The modern state is established yet not a Torah based State. This requires additional positive Mitzvot to be done by the Children of Israel.

A Land for Every Nation

Chapter Two, Part 1

"Know that each and every parcel of land was granted to the nation that was best suited for that land. This is hinted at in the verse, "And I shall give the land of Ar to the children of Lot as an inheritance" (Deut. 2:9). That implies that that parcel of land is destined for the children of Lot. Similarly, we see G-d allocating the area of land, known as the Mountain of Seir, to Esau, as in the verse "As an inheritance to Esau, I have given the Mount of Seir" (Deut. 2:5). Chazal explained that just like he, Esau, was ruddy, so too his land is reddish. Thus again indicating how the land is appropriate for he who was destined to dwell therein.

chanoch's Commentary

In the above paragraph the land of Esau is described as red just as he is described as red in the Torah. This is a physical description. Esau is red since he is connected to the Sefirah of Gevurah of the negative system and Judgment. The land is red for this same reason. Each particle of land is connected to a Sefirah and this land belongs to the nation connected to that same Sefirah.

He who lives outside the Land is as if he serves idolatry

The reason for the suitability of a land to its nation is because of the compatibility of the ministering angel ruling those people to that piece of land. So too the very souls of those people stem from the kelipah (spiritual husk) that represents that parcel of land. This leads us to observe three types of correlations: the relation of the nation, of the physical land, and of the ministering angel to the soul and providence.This is hinted to in the verse, "That they should save you from a forbidden woman, a strange woman" (Proverbs 7:5). The hint is from the letters spelling "forbidden woman" spell "that the Sar (the ministering angel)", the ruler of that country. For he who lives outside the Land is as if he serves idolatry (cf. Gemara Ketubot 110a), as will be explained.

chanoch's Commentary

Here is a hint to a very important spiritual aspect. These three aspects are connecting to a specific Sefirah of the Kelipah. Thus Angelic Messengers which are the Sars - leaders of a nation are connected to the Kelipah.

This concept is surely similar with the Jews and Eretz Yisrael. The level of their Neshama, their Torah, and their relationship with G-d, is dependent upon their presence in the Land of Israel. For the very soil of Eretz Yisrael is holy and the Jewish people are holy, their souls are holy and their Torah is holy as well as their G-d is holy for He is their minister. Not only that, but just like Eretz Yisrael and its abundant mitzvot have no comparison with the other countries of the world and the mitzvot that could be performed therein, the same is true that the Torah, the code of life of Eretz Yisrael, has no comparison with the legal codes and statutes of the other nations of the world. About this it is written, "And you shall not do any of these abominations (the laws of the pagans)" (Lev. 18:26) and "For all of those abominations…" (ibid. 27) and "Let not the land disgorge you, as it had vomited out…" (ibid. 28).

chanoch's Commentary

There were 7 nations in the Land prior to the Children of Israel traveling and fighting to take over the land. The Torah describes the the Children of Israel were not given the land until the Land vomited out the Sars of those 7 nations. We must remember as Jews that there are other Children of Israel each with its own path and understanding of Torah. Without this understanding there will be a process of Armageddon War to cleanse the earth. This is my opinion. If we do remember these other Children of Israel and allow them to enter the land peacefully then the world will see the final days as Mashiach coming peacefully.

The completeness of the soul is dependent upon which portion of land it dwells in

Behold the holy Torah and Eretz Yisrael have a unique relationship. So too the Jewish people have a unique deep spiritual relationship to the land of Israel. This can be seen from the prophet Ezekiel (chapter 48) dividing up the land between the twelve tribes, granting each tribe the parcel of land best suited for its needs. This was accomplished by each tribe bordering the place from where the soul of his tribe emanates from. Thus each mitzvah performed in Eretz Yisrael ascends and adorns each of the borders in relationship to the soul of each tribe. In this way, the completeness of the soul is dependent upon which portion of land it dwells in. And the fulfillment of the land is dependent upon the souls that dwell there in accordance with its existence.

chanoch's Commentary

A Child of Israel is not complete without the soul of the Child of Israel receiving its fulfillment from the gate that relates to the Land that relates to the soul. In essence the proper light must find the proper vessel in the opportune moment for complete fulfillment. Learn this well as it is a spiritual law that most people never learn.

The essence of this is that Zion is the point of the original creation (Gemara Yoma 54b) For, from that point the rest of the world unfolded. That point of course is associated with the Shechina. There are twelve boundaries emanating from that central point. They are the mystery of the measurements of the land and the sanctuary as recounted by the prophet Ezekiel (ch. 48). The Jews take shelter under the edges of the out-spread wings of the Shechina that extend to the entire border of Eretz Yisrael. Yet, just as the Shechina is not complete so long as the Holy Temple is incomplete, so too the Shechina is incomplete so long as Eretz Yisrael is not complete to the extent of its true borders, which are from the river of Egypt until the Euphrates. That completion is dependent upon its being inhabited by Jews, each according to the place that is most befitting him; this is because G-d had promised Abraham ten lands as an inheritance to his descendents. Those ten lands correspond to the attribute of malchut that is nesting in the realm of Asiya, for she is incorporated by ten sefirot of her own.

chanoch's Commentary

Please note that the word Jews as used in the above paragraph actually means Children of Israel. Note that the land is quite expansive as is promised in the Torah. Only when each Child of Israel is in his own part of the promised Land of Israel will the process of Tikune become complete.

Vanquishing the Lower Seven

Chapter Two, Part 2

In the days of Moses, the Children of Israel were only promised the seven lands of the seven nations. Those seven correspond to the lower seven sefirot. Yet, "The lands of the Kini and Kenizi and Kadmoni" (Gen. 15:19) which correspond to the three upper sefirot, they were not promised. This was so being that, in our times, only the lower seven are functioning in a perceivable manner. After the final redemption, those upper three will also be functioning, and therefore we will be given those three corresponding lands.

chanoch's Commentary

In the next section we will become aware of the sefirotic meaning of these three names.

It is known that the lands of the seven nations are hinted to in the Zeir and Nukva of the Kelipat Noga, for Zeir is comprised of six extremities, and its Nukva is their seventh aspect. For this reason, in my impoverished opinion, the first letters that spell the seven nations, Canaanites, Hitites, Emorites, Prizians, Hivites, Jebusites, and Girgashites, have the numerical value of 131, which is the same value as 'Satan', who is the Zeir of Kelipat Noga. While "Eretz Canaan" has the same value as "Lil--" ['Satan's mate], for she receives from all of his six extremities, likewise the entire numerical value of all seven nations [i.e. Canaanites, Hittites, Emorites, Prizians, Hivites, Jebusites, and Girgashites] together with the value of 'Satan' equals the value of Eretz Canaan using the large value for the final letters MaNZePaCh. That signifies that she [Eretz Canaan] is the malchut of the kelipot, and that she includes within herself from the ten sefirot of Kelipat Noga.

[Editor's note: The regular 22 letters of the aleph-beit range in value from 1 to 400, yet five letters take different shapes when placed at the end of a word. These letters normally signify the aspect of gevura, hence the numerical value for them is in a different scale, namely, chaf sofit =500, mem sofit = 600, nun sofit = 700, pei sofit = 800, and tzadi sofit = 900. Most authorities take the system a step further to the "large" aleph = 1000, the word in Hebrew for one thousand is aleph.]

Yet the malchut of holiness is called "Eretz HaCanaanY", as is seen in the verse, "And it shall come to pass when G-d brings you in to the Eretz HaCanaanY…" (Ex. 13:5). [The word Canaan is surrounded by a hei and a yud; they are letters of G-d's name, hence by surrounding Canaan they transform it.]

chanoch's Commentary

i do not understand the gematria examples above. Satan is 359 not 770, and not 131. I am not saying the above paragraphs are incorrect. i am saying i do not understand it. Can the Malchut of the negative system and the Malchut of the positive system be the same Sefirah? The answer is yes since the illusion of our physical world has both positive and negative aspects. Learn well the idea that surrounding negativity with positivity transform negative into positive. This is what happens with the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh HaShana. Also the effect of listening, saying, singing Shir HaShirim on Friday afternoon or Shabbat transforms your personal negative actions for the week into positive actions.

In the midst of Eretz Yisrael, ten levels of holiness sanctify it

I have heard from that venerable wise sage, Rav Moses Zacuto, that the numerical value of "Eretz HaCanaanY" equals that of 'malchut' of holiness. That is so because of the name Yud Hei that join it, as in the verse, "I had said, 'I will not see G-d (Yud Hei), G-d (Yud Hei) is in the land of the living (Eretz Yisrael)." (Isaiah 38:11) Also Yud Hei, spelled out fully, Yud Vav Dalet, Vav Yud Vav, Dalet Lamed Tav, Hei Hei, Hei Hei, equals 'malchut', as well as 'Eretz HaCanaanY'. All its powers stem from the Yud Hei that is attached to it. As in the verse, "G-d in chochma founded the Land" (Proverbs 3:19). That is why the very "air of Eretz Yisrael wizens" (Baba Batra 158b), for in that land is the revelation of the "light" of the Yud. Namely, Yud is spelled out fully as Yud Vav Dalet and that, further spelled out as Yud Vav Dalet, Vav Vav, Dalet Lamed Tav, all together equals malchut. The mystery of this is found in the passage in the Zohar talking about how "Abba is the Foundation of his daughter" (Pinchas 158a), which says that she is Eretz Yisrael, "Yisrael Sabba". She includes ten levels to correspond to the ten nations, those levels are keter, chochma, bina, gedula (chesed), gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod, yesod and malchut. The first letters of those ten levels equals "Yisrael" (541). There in the midst of Eretz Yisrael, ten levels of holiness sanctify it.

chanoch's Commentary

This is how Israel - the people will correct the nations of negativity.

It is known that the level of Ham the son of Noah is hod; referring to this is the verse, "All day long is 'dava'-moaning" (Lamentations 1:13). [Hod has the same letters of dava]. From this we should be gladdened and understand that dava was transformed into hod and hadar [splendor and beauty]. In other words, when the "horns" [they are the letters yud and hei] of hod are revealed to the land of Canaan, who was dava--wallowing in her menstruation, then the she becomes sanctified. This is the essence of the verse, "Open for me the gates of righteousness, I shall enter therein and give thanks to Y-h [yud and hei]" (Psalms 118:19). Therefore, King David, who was from the aspect of hod, composed 150 psalms of thanksgiving. They total 10 times 15 [yud and hei 10 + 5 = 15]. With the letters yud and hei he finished the book of Psalms. chanoch adds: the last word in Psalm 150 is halleyu YAH spelled Yood Hai.

Based upon all that is written here, search and you shall not find another time that Eretz Yisrael is called in the Torah "Eretz HaCanaanY" save the time of the redemption from Egypt, for regarding the redemption the Torah writes, "The might and vengeance of Y-h (G-d)" (Ex. 15:2). Thus far his words, the words of the mouth of the wise and gracious.

The land of Canaan has been subjugated under the lyre and sweet harp

Therefore, all the other six nations [despite their own names] are referred to by her name, the land of Canaan. Similarly, as the Arizal wrote regarding the mystery of the "Table on the River" (Likutei Torah Balak), that the table represents the malchut, the feminine, that is above the "river", the masculine. That is like the diaphragm on top of the liver, as mentioned in the Zohar (Parashat Pinchas 231b and 224b.)

[The diaphragm represents the feminine and the liver itself the masculine]. This situation [of the feminine above the masculine], is specifically referring to the land of the children of Ammon, for they are the kelipot. Yet in the realm of holiness, it is written, "And the land is My foot stool" (Isaiah 66:1) as well as the verse, "And G-d shall be King upon the entire land" (Zachariah 14:9). Therefore, regarding holiness, the land is called Eretz Yisrael, for that connotes that she is underneath the masculine. Then the land is called "desire". For the word Canaan spells the first letters in the verse, "Ki nirtza avo na [her iniquity has been forgiven]" (Isaiah 40:2). [The word "nirtza" implies not only forgiveness but also desire. In other words, her sins have been forgiven hence she -the Jews- are once again desired.] That land that was once Canaan [i.e. defiled by the seven nations] is now the "land of desire".

This is the mystery of the iniquities becoming merits, as can be seen from the following verse. "Raise up a song and sound of the tof [drum]" (Psalms 81:3). Through the songs, that are the "songs of the mighty" (Isaiah 25:5), then "sound of tof [drums]". This will break Lil--, whose numerical value is that of tof - 480. And then "Kinor na'im im nevel [Sound the sweet harp with the lyre]" (ibid.)[the first letters spell Canaan]. In other words, that which the land of Canaan was under the control of -- namely the "tof [drum] and machol [tambourine]" (Psalms 150:4), who are the two harlots, Lil-- and Machlat [this is hinted to by Lil-- having the value of tof, and Machlat being spell like machol], has now been turned over into "Nevel V'Kinor [the lyre and sweet harp]". Those instruments are in the hand of the side of holiness, under the providence of G-d. G-d, as Yud Hei, is hinted at in the word "na'vel", the nun hinting to the Fifty Gates of Understanding, and the remaining two letters beit and lamed spell lev, which hints at the [Book of Sefer Yetzira] 32 Paths of Wisdom [lamed=30 and beit=2]. The letters vav hei of G-d's name are hinted to by the word "kinor", the kaf and the vav of that word valuing 26, which is the numerical value of the Ineffable Name YHVH, while the remaining two letters nun and reish hint at the aspects of Zeir and Nukva. That is why the first letters of "Kinor na'im im nevel [Sound the sweet harp with the lyre]" (Psalms 81:3) spells "Canaan". This indicates that the land of Canaan has been subjugated under the "lyre and sweet harp", which represent chochma and bina, and tiferet and malchut.

All of this was only possible because of the merits of our forefathers, as is written, "Moreover, I have established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan". (Ex. 6:4) That is also hinted to in the fact that the words "Kinor (276) na'im (170) im (110) nevel (82)" have the same numerical value as Abraham (248) Isaac (208) and Jacob (182) = 638. In their merit, the land of Canaan left the rule of the chitzonim [external forces] and entered the domain of Holiness, the name YHVH.

chanoch's Commentary

Once Abraham entered the Land he starts the transformation from the negative system to the positive system. This was completed by Isaac staying in the land and Jacob returning with the 12 Tribes the last of which was born in the Land. This is how the Yood and Hay are added to the word Canaan, in my opinion.

This is what is meant by the verse, "Great is G-d and much praised…" (Psalms 48:2). When is G-d exceedingly great? When He is, "…in the city of our G-d, the mount of His Holiness" (ibid.). That is also "And G-d is in His Holy Sanctuary" (Habakkuk 2:20). There G-d's name is not complete except for in the place of His Holy Sanctuary which is the "Holy Land". As in the verse, "Yismechu Hashamayim Vetagel Ha'aretz -The Heavens will be glad and the land [Eretz Yisrael] shall rejoice" (Psalms 96:11) [note that the initials spell the Ineffable Name], for there in Eretz Yisrael is the gate of heaven, the place where the Yud Hei joins Vav Hei.

chanoch's commentary

Only in the Land of Israel can the ineffeable name become complete.

Sanctification of the Mind

Chapter Two, Part 3

Behold, the Arizal has written that Eretz Yisrael had ten nations living in her, for they correspond to the ten attributes she has. Yet the Jews only conquered seven of those nations. Parallel to the ten attributes of holiness there exist ten attributes of defilement. Of the ten attributes of defilement, the Jews were only able to vanquish the lower seven. Yet the three upper attributes, they were unable to succeed, for those three are very great and intangible. Their correspondence is as follows:

The Kini correspond to the Land's bina that is why the value of Kini is 161, which is indicative of bina. The Kenizi correspond to her chochma, which is called zaken [elderly, the same letters which spell Kenaz -the county of the Kenizi], as our sages have written in Kidushin 32b, "Zaken -- is he who has acquired chochma -- wisdom." Therefore, the chochma of the kelipa is called Keniz. The Kadmoni correspond to her keter, and inclusively it is called Eretz Canaan, for Canaan is that which corresponds to her malchut. She, the malchut, contains within her all that is above her.

chanoch's Commentary

Learn this well. We learn that the Keter includes all of the other nine Sefirot. Now we learn that the Malchut has all of the 9 Sefirot above it. In this case it is Daat not Keter. Thus the end is in the beginning and the beginning is in the end, a famous adage of Kabbalah.

Being that Rachel is Eve [value = 19], which is the spelling-out of the name YHVH-Mah [26 +19 = 45]. Ed. Note: We are referring here to the Parzuf called Rachel, which is aligned in the lower front of the Parzuf of Jacob, namely Zeir Anpin. The ten attributes that she contains have a value of ten times 19, equaling 190. Hence we see the numerical value of Canaan [20 + 50 +70 + 50] equals 190. That is "Kaitz HaYamin -- the end of days [implying the world to come]" (Daniel 12:13). Yet what is opposite that is "Kaitz HaYamim" [implying the Angel of Death].

chanoch's Commentary

The Hebrew word for end is Ketz קץ. The gematria is 190.

In my impoverished opinion, that when Moses said, "And it shall come to pass when I bring you into Eretz HaCanaanY" (Ex. 13:5), the yud and hei had entered the "land of the living". Eretz HaCanaanY [291 + 205] has the same numerical value as malchut [496 - The addition of the yud hei enables the land to fully complete malchut]. That is why the verse says, "Open for me the gates of righteousness, I shall enter them and thank Y-h" (Psalms 118:19).

She is then called Eretz HaKedosha, for she subsequently contains within her the Kodesh HaKedoshim

The Divine influence of the chochma and bina of the malchut is as follows: The chochma provides ten miluim of the name Av, which is ten times 46. [The milui of Av is 46, derived from the value of the letters that "fill" the spelling of the letters of YHVH where the Heis are spelled with yuds. Yvd, Hy, Vyv, Hy. The bolded letters value 26 and the one that "fill" them equal 46.] Bina provides ten miluim of YHVH of Sag, which is ten times 37. [The milui of Sag works the same as above yet with the difference of the vav being spelled with an alef, hence 37.] These are the mystery of the verse, "Then G-d fashioned the side that he had taken from Adam, into a woman, and He brought her to Man" (Gen. 2:22). [That when she was brought in front of Adam then they could connect.] Then the partzuf of Rachel can connect with Zeir Anpin, otherwise known as Yisrael. Then she [Rachel] is called Eretz Yisrael [291 + 541 = 832], whose numerical value is the same as the value of the two miluim plus the two kolels [460 + 370 +2 = 832].

It is also known that the name Yud-Hei has three different miluim: with yuds, alefs and heis.

Yud [YVD = 10+6+4 = 20] X Hei [HY 10+5 = 15] = 300 [the value of shin].

Yud [YVD = 10+6+4 = 20] X Hei [HA = 5+1 = 6] = 120.

Yud [YVD = 10+ 6 + 4 = 20] X Hei [HH = 5+5 = 10] = 200 [the value of reish].

All together they total [300+200+120 =] 620, which equals the word "keter". If we add to that the three spellings YVD HY, YVD HH, YVD HA, which together equal 91, we arrive at the figure of 711, which equals Eretz HaKedosha [291+420 = 711]. This indicates that at the time that she is receiving from chochma and bina, known as Yud Hei, which also are called Kodesh HaKedoshim, she is then called Eretz HaKedosha, for she subsequently contains within her the Kodesh HaKedoshim [the Holy of Holies].

This is also what Jacob, Zeir Anpin, was hinting at when he said to Laban, the Loven Elyon [the Supernal Whiteness] as is known in the Drush of Adam Kadmon, "Bring me my wife - ishti " (Gen. 29:21) [referring to Rachel]. In other words Jacob [Zeir Anpin] is preparing for and inviting the connection with Rachel [his Nukva]; that is why he used the word "hava" -- "bring". What is happening on a deeper plane is that Zeir Anpin is asking of the Supernal Emanation [the Loven Elyon], that, now in the midst of the destruction, a rectification of the Nukva should be made. For through her, after rectification [being called Eretz HaKedosha which is the value of "ishti, my wife": 711, as mentioned above], then he too (Zeir Anpin) will merit to attain the name Yud Hei. That is why the verse continues, "…VaAvoha Aylyha - And I will bring to her" (ibid.); the word aylyha hints to us, ayl -to, YH- the name Yud Hei. [This is how we see his request of the yud and hei to be brought to Rachel.] The intention of this is that at the time of the final redemption, when the Holy Land will be built up and the Holy Temple rebuilt, speedily in our days, which is then the rectification of the malchut of Atzilut, that Zeir Anpin will receive his mochin that are called Yud Hei in completion, and they will never leave him. Then they shall both share one crown as is hinted to in the verse, "And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun" (Isaiah 30:26). Then Zeir Anpin and Nukva shall ascend to the place of chochma and bina in the aspect of Yud Hei. At that point G-d's name will no longer be YHVH, rather it shall be YHYH. That is hinted at in the verse, "On that day YHYH [will be] G-d and His name shall be one" (Zachariah 14:9). In Eretz Yisrael, the feminine is constantly connected to the masculine

It is also called Eretz Yisrael, as it says in the Tikunei Zohar, "the realm of Yetzira rules in Eretz Yisrael". This can be understood from the concept that in Yetzira is the place that Zeir Anpin of Atzilut, called Yisrael, pleads. His malchut and yesod are called the "Livnat HaSapir" - "chamber of Sapphires", for they are always open to supply Divine influence to Eretz Yisrael. Just as "Livnat" is feminine, while "Sapir" is masculine, so too "Eretz" is feminine and "Yisrael" is masculine. That is hinted to by virtue of the numerical value of "Livnat Sapir" (482+350=832) equaling that of "Eretz Yisrael" (291+541=832). That shows how they are in line with each other. It is also called Eretz Yisrael for the reason that "The Eyes of G-d are watching her" (Deut. 11 12) and that the "connection" there is constant. Thus the numerical value of ten times "G-d He is the Lord" (Kings I 18:39) is equal to that of "Eretz Yisrael". For in Eretz Yisrael, the feminine is constantly connected to the masculine; that is so because the seven lower sefirot are incorporated in the upper three sefirot.

The general rule we can derive from all of the above is that the first three nations, the Kini, Kenizi and Kadmoni, were not inherited by the Jews. Only in the future will the Jews merit them. This is hinted at being that the numerical value of "Kini Kenizi Kadmoni" [170+167+204] equals that of "Yisrael" [541]. Thus the name "Eretz Yisrael" connotes that, in the future, it will include those upper three as well. Nowadays the word "Yisrael" hints at "Lo yarash" - "didn't inherit", meaning the upper three have not yet been attained, yet in the future "Yisrael" will hint to "Li rosh" - "to me as my Head", implying that those three will then be as the head of the lower seven. That is also why the first letters of those three nations are kuf kuf and kuf, which stands for Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh, signifying the three sanctifications of keter chochma and bina of Holiness.

Because G-d promised Abraham that he would give his descendents all ten nations, at the time of the binding of Isaac, G-d told Abraham, "Go to yourself, to the land of the Moriah" (Gen. 22:2). This is a hint to Abraham that the upper three together with the kolel of all ten nations [541+10 = 551] is the numerical value of "Land of Moriah [Eretz Hamoriah" = 291+260=551]. Hamoriah is also comprised of the letters that spell "ha'rem Y-h" [Exult Yud Hei]. In other words, we had only inherited the seven lower ones alone, yet, regarding the upper three known as Yud Hei -- "lift them up" [ha'rem], in the future at the final redemption. Had Moses attained…Yechida, he would have had the power to attain the upper three for Eretz Yisrael

The time that the Jews were unable to conquer those upper three was dependent on Moses, for, despite his most lofty spiritual stature, he still had not attained the level of Yechida; Yechida is the aspect of the keter of Atzilut, which incorporates within itself the chochma bina and daat [73+67+480 = 620], for their numerical value is the same as keter [620]. Rather, the highest Moses was able to attain was that level of Chaya, which is the chochma of Atzilut, as is known from Sefer Hagilgulim. Had Moses attained the level of Yechida, he would have had the power to attain the upper three for Eretz Yisrael and extract from them all aspects of holiness. When Mashiach will be revealed, he will merit the level of Yechida. That will be the source of his strength and ability to attain those upper three for all of Yisrael. G-d saw, however, that the Jews were going to make the Golden Calf, hence He only promised Moses the land of seven nations. It was for that very reason that Moses himself wasn't able to attain the level of Yechida.

The Midrash in Yalkut Shimoni writes, "The Rabbis say that the three nations that will in the future be given over to the children of Yisrael are the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Children of Ammon, as is written, "For I shall not give you an inheritance from their land" (Deut. 2 9). Regarding Moab it writes, "Do not distress." (ibid.) Kini is Esau, Kenizi is Ammon and Kadmoni is Moab. In the days of Mashiach they will all be given over to the Children of Israel to fulfill G-d's promise. At the time that all of the Jews shall enter the land, the land will be fulfilled

Know that the land of Sichon and Og are part of the borders of those three nations. It is for this reason that the children of Gad and Reuben chose those areas as their portion of land, for in the future that parcel of land shall be elevated to the level of the three upper sefirot of Holiness, even though they will not be sanctified until after the redemption. It is probably for that very reason that Moses is buried there, for he corresponds to the aspect of daat [one of the upper three sefirot].

Divine Revelation

Chapter Two, Part 4

Since Israel was not able to conquer the land of the three nations, the children of Israel are not fulfilled nor is the Shechina complete [in its revelation] until that future time. At the time that all of the Jews shall enter the land, the land will be fulfilled in its true ultimate completion.

Then the Shechina will be rectified, for the Shechina stands upon the twelve oxen.

[The twelve oxen are part of King Solomon's symbolic "Sea", which stood upon twelve oxen (as in Kings I 7:25). The Zohar (Volume 1, 241a) says that the Shechina rests upon the twelve "oxen". Those oxen really symbolize much loftier things such as the Chayot HaKodesh etc.]

chanoch's Commentary

The 12 oxen can also be the 12 sons of Jacob or the 12 Tribes of Israel.

By the Shechina dwelling in its midst, Eretz Yisrael is rectified

Those twelve symbolize the rectification of the Chayot HaKodesh [a specific type of angels] which comprise twelve different facets corresponding to the twelve oxen. Then the Divine Throne shall be rectified, being that the Shechina is above it and the Chayot are below it. It itself is not complete, yet when it is completed, then Eretz Yisrael will be completely rectified.

By the Shechina dwelling in its midst, Eretz Yisrael is rectified. By the presence of the Shechina they [the 12 oxen] are bent down. The Shechina has not yet fully resided in Eretz Yisrael. Even in the times of Joshua it wasn't complete, for two and a half tribes were not in the land. That's why Eretz Yisrael is not complete. The reason is that the Shechina couldn't be complete, is based upon the complaint (cf. Chullin 60b) of the moon about sharing the crown with the sun. As long as the light of the moon hasn't again reverted to the exact luminance of the sun, sharing one crown as it was at the time of creation, the Shechina will not reach its completion. This is similar to that which the Arizal writes in his commentary about the seven aspects of the malchut of Atzilut. Look there and you shall find the depth of this concept at its very roots. This is the essence of the verse, "Behold, this [zeh] is G-d, we hoped for him" (Isaiah 25:9); in other words, at the time when all twelve tribes will have reached their completion in Eretz Yisrael, then G-d's name will be complete. For the words zeh [this, in the masculine] and zot [this, in the feminine] go together. Zot is the malchut that is taking grasp of the yesod, which is called zeh. As is known from the Zohar on Parashat Chukat, zot in its small numerical value [Mispar Katan] equals zeh. Also the hidden letters [ne'elam] of zeh [spelled zayin hei] with their milui is equal to the numerical value of the name Ado-nai [the milui of zayin is yud = 10 and nun = 50, the milui of hei is hei = 5; like the total of the latter, the numerical value of the name Ado-nai equals 65].

chanoch's Commentary

there are many statements that one needs to understand how they are arrived in this paragraph. The understanding that all children of Noach will eventually rectify to the point of becoming children of Israel and one of the 12 Tribes comes from the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov about "You are Who You Hate". Until that happens there can not be a complete rectification of Israel or the Land. When that happens Zeh זה - זיו הה will become unified with Zot זאת - זין אלף תו and the milui of these spelled out names will have a gematria of 65 which will unify with the Name of HaShem Adonai.

End of Chapter Two.

Effects of Earthly Conduct

Chapter Three, Part 1

The identity of our ministering Angel is influenced by our actions

Now we shall discuss the main differences between Eretz Yisrael and Chutz LaAretz [outside of the Land of Israel] as well as the differences in the divine providence of the Jews and the rest of the nations. The concepts of prophecy, sorcery, repentance and converts shall also be discussed.

The concept of the headquarters of the External Forces being above the firmament is rather confusing. For at times they are under the rule of the supernal realms. So too is the functioning of the body. (At times we follow the will of our souls, yet sometimes we don't). This conduct is found in all of our lives, whether Jew or not. For that is a fundamental foundation from the time of Creation. There is neither addition nor detraction from any of them. The only difference is that the Jews will fortify the ruling and power of the supernal holy forces, thus they will be sanctified. As well, a persons' spiritual stature is affected by the preparations of his parents before his conception, the more they sanctify themselves the more the soul of their child will be enclothed by holiness after he's born. Yet the other nations of the world are enclothed with impurity. Yet in all other aspects humans are the same.

chanoch's Commentary

This paragraph above is hinting to the difference between a person who is a child of Israel and a person who is not a child of Israel. That difference is the energy of Kedusha or Holiness. Holiness is difficult to perceive with the 6 physical senses. It is only when one has become sensitive to spiritual energy, that one gets a limited perception of this energy of Holiness. That is why a Jewish person is able to love a non Jewish person. If one is sensitive to perceiving spiritual energy, then one can only feel a certain sense of pity for the person who lacks Holiness. This is because Holiness represents purification first and then the Creator elevates that pure person to become Holy. One who is not picked does not know that they are in lack. One who is picked learns to perceive others who have this lack and others who do not have this lack. This helps to explain why people behave the way they do viz a viz Children of Israel and Children of Noach.

If Mankind improves its ways then …the forces of holiness will proliferate

The other nations of the world are under the dominion and power of the External Forces. Hence they draw forth their life force from the spreading out of impurity. Whereas the Jews draw forth their life force from the expansion of holiness. That is exactly like the ways of the rulership of the supernal holiness in its conducting the power of the External Forces in the firmaments. Just as the actions of Man determine the quality of that conduct, so too Man within himself determines for himself the quality of rulership of his being. If Mankind improves its ways, then the power of the External Forces are subjugated and the forces of holiness will proliferate. Yet if Heaven forbid they destroy their ways then the rule will be given over to the External Forces. Same is with man himself, If he magnifies his own Yetzer Hara [Evil Inclination] and defilement, then the power of rule of himself will be given to the forces of the External Forces. Yet if he were to magnify the aspect of holiness, which is his own holy Nefesh and other parts, then the rule over him is entirely given to the forces of holiness and he will be sanctified.

chanoch's Commentary

It is important for one to pray for help to expand holiness. It is the goal of the negative or external forces to try to limit the expansion of Holiness. Understand this well.

The conduct of Eretz Yisrael is the conduct of the holy ones and prophets

Now imagine in your mind two concepts:

The conduct of Eretz Yisrael is the conduct of the holy ones and prophets. For they would purify their material selves, and rectify all their senses and intellect in order to be sanctified. They would be in total control over all their attributes and would compel all their natural instincts to holiness. They rid themselves of all physical attributes. All that enabled them to control the cosmos and subjugate it to do their will.

The conduct of Chutz LaAretz is totally given over to the ministering angels of each country. The knowledge of accessing this was the force of sorcerers - chartumim in Egypt as well as the power of witchcraft and any other power that involves subjugating the attributes of one's soul to them. This was the source of the power of Balaam and his students.

chanoch's Commentary

Moshe and Bilaam are equal in power in the limited perceptions of physical senses. they each can reach the level of spiritual power yet these two realms are not equal since one has been chosen and called Holy and one has not been chosen. Learn this well.

It is known that underneath those two, are two other behaviors that resemble the above:

First: One who lives in Eretz Yisrael and leaves it. Meaning that he has left the rulership of holiness into the realm of the rule of the ministering angels. Thus is exactly the Jew who has subjugated himself to evil characteristics and has given over his spiritual powers to the will of the Yetzer Hara. Thus he who leaves Eretz Yisrael is as if he has given himself over to the rule of the power of the External Forces. He has also given the cosmos over to the rulership of the forces of those ministering angels. The above applies to he who leaves Eretz Yisrael not for the purpose of a mitzvah.

Second: This is the opposite of the above. That is the convert, the Baal Teshuva -- the repentant, and others. In other words they were on the outside, meaning they were under the rule of the Yetzer Hara, yet they have divested themselves of that force and have subjugated their Yetzer Hara. And now they have entered into the realm of holiness and have drawn upon themselves the rulership of all supernal holy forces, and have channeled all their attributes to holiness.

chanoch's Commentary

If you do not understand this, then formulate a question to ask. i will wait before moving on to section 2. Remember the description of "leaving Israel" is not speaking about the physical leaving. Yet the physical leaving is also describing this truth. The Land Vomits the unholy person out of the Land.

Divine Sustenance

Chapter Three, Part 2

The "Other Side" plays favorites when on her own territory.

It is befitting to mention to all those who delve into this wisdom, that we shouldn't think to take literally the passage of the Zohar (II 17a) discussing the concept of, "the maid servant who inherits [the place of] her matron." (Proverbs 30:23). For the sheer intense holiness of G-d precludes that even in Inner Sanctum of the realm of Beriya, that neither Angel nor Seraph [i.e. a type of celestial being] nor any creature can enter therein. Therefore, one could never entertain the concept of the maidservant actually taking the place of her matron.

chanoch adds: I hope that he will explain the metaphorical reasoning for this concept.

While the Jews are in their land, there is an aspect of malchut…

Rather the true way to understand that passage is with the following introduction: The entire universe is run by supernal attributes, all of whom influence, and draw influence towards malchut. This is especially true when the tiferet unites with malchut. Subsequently malchut divides nourishment [to the physical realm] from that influence. She conducts and administrates the upper, lower, internal and external worlds. Hence, while the Jews are in their land, there is an aspect of malchut known as "One Ofan [lofty angel] was on the land" (Ezekiel 1:15), as was explained as the representation of malchut being in the land [Asiya] to administrate the lower worlds. It is from that aspect that the Jews receive all their divine influence.

chanoch's Commentary

One of the essences of Malchut is manifestation. When the Jews are in the Land there is a partial manifestation of the completeness of Holiness and Tikune. Yet there is more to manifest still starting with the spiritual levels and reaching the actions to do in our physical world as well.

Therefore, when the Jews had trampled the Temple (see Isaiah 1:12) they were running after the power of the External Forces, who are led by their cursed mother [Lil--], to gain nourishment from her as her children. As is the mystery of the Calves of Succos. These calves represented the nations of the world. The amount of the calves decreased each day, representing that their powers will diminish. This was done during the holiday of Succos in which the world is judged for rain, as well as the determination of how much divine influences the ministering angels of each country will receive.

chanoch adds: the word calves represents the 70 bulls sacrificed during Sukkot. If you do not understand this paragraph formulate a question.

…the 'Mother' is not able to sustain us in exile

Yet our "mother" [the Shechinah], is not able to sustain us in exile, for the position of distributing the divine influence has been taken from her. In accordance to the state of the Shechina not directly transferring the influence, therefore the Zohar describes the situation as, "the maid servant who inherits [the place of] her matron." (Proverbs 30:23). Meaning that she [Lil--] can divert the majority of the influence to her own "children".

A parable to describe the situation is as follows. The son of the king, while living in the king's palace, his nourishment and sustenance were provided by his mother.

The son of the king, while living in the king's palace…

His mother provided him with all befitting necessities. Yet when the son became exceedingly rebellious the king banished him from the palace. To be with her son, his mother went to exile as well. Yet throughout the exile the king sent provisions to them through their hosts, the maidservant. Yet the maidservant channeled the best of the provisions for her own children, leaving the prince the leftovers. Yet the maidservant doesn't have the wisdom nor sense to realize that the king sent those provisions to her only because of his son that is there. In the son's perspective the maidservant is now the source of his sustenance. In this fashion the maidservant has taken the place of the matron. For she provides for the king's son, she carries his meals to him from the king. Yet, heaven forbid, should we think that she actually enters the chambers of the king. Rather the king has the food brought to one of his generals who then gives it to one of his servants who finally gives it to the maidservant. Nonetheless being that the influence originated from the king's palace and goes to the maidservant, there is no greater disgrace for the queen.

chanoch's Commentary

Please realize that the reason a Child of Israel becomes enamored with the physical pleasures and loses sight of the spiritual world is caused by the maidservant being the source of the sustenance. This is the result of our physical actions causing the Shechina going into exile.

The Land and the Covenant

Chapter Three, Part 3

Perceiving G-d in the Land depends on the mitzva of Brit Mila.

Behold, G-d reveals his presence to us in two ways:

First, when G-d enclothes Himself in an attribute, such as the Shechina resting in our midst in disguise in 'gentile' clothing. In other words, as the ministering angels of the External Forces by means of their spreading out in the realm of the 'Ofanim' [Asiya]. Therefore one residing in Chutz LaAretz perceives the Creator's Godliness in that fashion [i.e. disguised]. Yet that form of perception of G-d is called, "serving foreign gods", for he is receiving sustenance and perception of G-d through those ministering angels. On this is written, for they have driven me away this day from attaching myself to the heritage of G-d saying, "go worship the gods of others." (Samuel A 26:19). That refers to the Jews living in Chutz LaAretz who "serve idolatry [i.e. foreign gods] in purity". They don't receive the divine countenance properly, for they cause the divine influence to be diverted to the External Forces.

The Jews living in Eretz Yisrael…would perceive the Shechina without any partitions

The second fashion of revelation is through the extension of the "Gentile" garments. In other words, for the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, they would perceive the Shechina without any partitions, descending through the holy levels starting at the portal of "Livnas HaSapir" all the way down to the land itself. In this fashion the Shechina is not enclothed by any of the ministering angels, rather she could unfold and descend through the airspace of Eretz Yisrael. There she can dwell in the pure airspace of Eretz Yisrael that makes wise those who inhabit her with the wisdom of King Solomon. That is the reason that Eretz Yisrael is malchut, for her airspace is the abode of the Shechina. For the Shechina can not dwell amongst the uncircumcised. That is because she can not unite with the External Forces (represented by the orla - foreskin). Therefore it is incumbent upon all those dwelling in the land to remove their foreskin in order not to defile the land.

chanoch's Commentary

This is the reason that Jacob's sons told the citizens of Shechm to circumzie themselves. Also while it is not a Mitzvah to circumcize a child of Noach it is important that they do this action when living in the Land.

Eretz Yisrael is malchut, for her airspace is the abode of the Shechina

We see that receiving G-d's countenance is directly related to living in Eretz Yisrael, yet living in Eretz Yisrael is directly dependent upon the mitzva of Brit Mila (circumcision). This codependence is seen from the following Midrash:

The verse of: "For the land unto which you are arriving there to inherit" (Deut. 11:10), is juxtaposed with the verse: "And I shall remember My covenant" (Lev. 26:42). From these we derive two lessons. First, that the mitzva of Eretz Yisrael is equal to the mitzva of Brit Mila. That is seen by the last verse ending with: "…and I shall remember the land" (ibid.). From that we deduce that just like the performance of a Brit Mila pushes aside the various pertinent prohibitions of Shabbat, so too the mitzva of conquering Eretz Yisrael pushes aside those pertinent prohibitions of Shabbat. Second, that Eretz Yisrael is equal to all that G-d created during the six days of Creation.

chanoch's Commentary

The Mitzvah of conquering the Land of Israel implies a purification of the Land and this also applies to our cleansing and purifying all of the physical world so that one will not find it necessary to move physically to Eretz Israel since when the resurrection of the dead takes place all of the world will become Israel.

A hint to this can be derived from the last letters of the various names of Eretz Yisrael spelling "Mila" [circumcision]. Namely:

"Eretz HaChaim" "Eretz HaTzvi" "Eretz Yisrael" "Eretz Hakedosha" "Behold a righteous person is completed in the land"

chanoch's Commentary

Mila is spelled in Hebrew מילה. The last letter of Chaim is Mem; the last letter of Tzvi is Yood; the last letter of Israel is Lamed; The last letter of Kedosha is Hay.

This concept is also hinted at in the following verse: "Behold a righteous person is completed in the land" (Proverbs 11:31, "Hen tzadik b'aretz y'shulam…"). For he who guards and keeps his Brit sanctified is called a tzadik. For he stands up to temptations, as did Joseph the tzadik. Yet nonetheless that tzadik is not complete until he reaches Eretz Yisrael and settles there. That is the mystery of "the tzadik in the land" (ibid.), meaning when the tzadik is dwelling in the land, then he will be complete. That is why the first letters of those words spell "HaTzvi", to indicate to us that it is only in the Land of HaZvi (literally "the land of loveliness") - Eretz Yisrael, that he can become complete. For one is dependent on the other. Also perceiving G-d is dependent upon the guarding of the Brit Mila and keeping it holy, even when living in Eretz Yisrael. Yet that perception is incomplete, for there are many garments veiling Him there. The reason why the Shechina went into exile with the Jews is in the merit of the Brit Mila. As is hinted to in the verses:

I will ratify my covenant between Me and you and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a God for you and your offspring after you. And I shall give to you and your offspring after you the land of your sojourns - the whole of the land of Canaan-- as an everlasting possession, and I shall be a God for them. G-d said to Abraham, "And as for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring throughout the generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep between Me and you and your offspring after you; Every male among you shall be circumcised. (Gen. 17:8)

End of Chapter Three.

chanoch's Commentary

The last few paragraphs seem clear to me. If you have any questions, please send a question for one of the Wednesday evening questions.

Righteous and in the Land of Israel

Chapter Four, Part 1

While residing in Eretz Yisrael, the tzadik will receive and supply the world with more benefits rather than his living in Chutz LaAretz. Also the death of a tzadik in Eretz Yisrael damages the world more than the damage caused by his dying in Chutz LaAretz. Eretz Yisrael is the heart of the world, for it is the portal to heaven

chanoch's Commentary

The statements above have no support that we have been given. They are true as we will find that support below. On its face if a Tzadik is ill in the land of Israel perhaps he should be transferred out of the Land to another location so that his death will harm the world less. A true Tzadik would make that choice although i have never heard of that happening.

The essence of this is, that Eretz Yisrael is the heart of the world (Zohar I:183b), for it is the portal to heaven. Just like the heart is the source of life for the body and it divides and spreads out life force to all the parts of the body. So too when Eretz Yisrael is healthy with tzadikim dwelling therein, then the life force and bountiful influence of health spreads out to all residents of the world.

The creation of Eretz Yisrael is through tzadikim, for they draw down to the land life force and all other divine influences. That is what is meant by the verse, "Exult Israel in your Maker, the children of Zion rejoice in their King" (Psalms 149:2). In other words, when shall all of the nation of Israel, who live in Chutz LaAretz, exult in their good deeds (as the Targum says -- "The joy of the house of Israel in their actions")? When the children of Zion -- the tzadikim living in the city of Zion --shall rejoice in their King, i.e. when they cause a supernal union of tiferet and malchut. Only then can the divine influence descend, first to them then to the rest of the world. Prayers of Chutz LaAretz can not ascend … without the help of the prayers of the tzadikim in Eretz Yisrael

Furthermore, all the prayers of Chutz LaAretz can not ascend to heaven without the help of the prayers of the tzadikim in Eretz Yisrael. That is why the first letters of the words, "B'nai Tzion Yagilu -- The children of Zion shall rejoice" (ibid.) spell tzvi. For those who are rejoicing are in the Land of the Tzvi ("the land of loveliness"), i.e. Eretz Yisrael--they cause joy for the entire world.

chanoch's Commentary

Tzvi - צבי normally translates as "deer" the animal. We will be looking at the meaning and metaphors for the deer in our animals in the Torah classes in the future. I understand how this translation of Lovliness makes sense yet it would be better if the Rabbi had translated it as the land of deer and then made a case for the deer being a lovely animal and lovely being a metaphorical understanding of the animal called deer.

Yet if, heaven forbid, there is no one to make that supernal union in Eretz Yisrael, then all the actions of those Jews in Chutz LaAretz are for naught. Even their prayers are impotent, for they can't ascend. This is because the peace and tranquility of the whole world is dependent upon the tranquility and peace of the tzadikim in Eretz Yisrael. The only way that any divine influence enters the world is through Eretz Yisrael

This is what is meant by the verse, "Yismach Tzadik Ba'Hashem-- Rejoice, oh righteous in G-d" (Psalms 64:11). The first letters spell tzvi; this means that through the actions and unions of the tzadikim in Eretz HaTzvi, and their taking refuge in G-d out of love, only then can "The upright in heart will be glorified" (ibid.)-- those faithful ones in Chutz LaAretz shall be glorified. And they will say this must have been caused by the ways of the upright ones of Eretz Yisrael who are called the heart. For the unifications performed in Eretz Yisrael benefit the entire world. For the only way that any divine influence enters the world is through Eretz Yisrael. This is what was meant by the statement of Chazal, "The rest of the world is nourished from the remnants of Eretz Yisrael" (Ta'anis 11a). In other words, as we have explained that Eretz Yisrael provides for the whole world like the heart provides life force to the entire body. (As the doctors have said, from the clearest and purest blood, the heart is nourished, which then in turn provides life force to the rest of the body; second is the brain, which is nourished by the purest blood left over, then the liver, then the rest of the organs and limbs according to their level.) Thus the rest of the world receives its nourishment (via Eretz Yisrael), each place according to its individual level.

chanoch's Commentary

The Rabbi is hinting to what is written in the Zohar in the Parasha of Pinchas that explains how the fats in the blood are of two levels. The purest level which today we call good cholesterol is produced by the liver and fed to the heart and brain. i hope you realize how amazing this statement is in light of modern medicine who just realized this in the 1980's and 1990's.

Nonetheless, at the time of the destruction of the Holy Temple, because of our sins, the flow of the divine influence was severed. Subsequently the rest of the limbs steadily diminish and wither, since the heart is no longer healthy and is not receiving sustenance. This situation is akin to a fast day. For this reason there is no day since the destruction of the Holy Temple whose curse is greater then the day that preceded it. This is simply because as we get farther from the destruction the degree of diminishment increases. The effect of a fast day is the heart not receiving any new nourishment. Hence it must draw nourishment out of the limbs and other organs to survive. They are ready and willing to sacrifice their own sustenance, fearing that if the heart were to die, so would they. That is why they provide their own blood to the heart. They realize the vital circumstance, and don't want the heart's demise. So it is that since the time of the destruction of the holy Temple, Eretz Yisrael is nourished by the remnants of Chutz LaAretz. For Eretz Yisrael has no existence without the small amounts of tzedaka that it receives from its limbs -- those Jews in Chutz LaAretz. The tzadikim residing in Eretz Yisrael are the channel for all the divine influence to enter this world.

The tzadikim residing in Eretz Yisrael are the channel for all the divine influence to enter this world. The reason is simple, for this divine influence is of spiritual nature, and it would be impossible to descend into the physical realm if it were not for the tzadikim that manifesting their spirituality - their portion of G-d within them. It is through their Torah learning and good deeds that the divine influence can descend against its nature. These tzadikim are greatly assisted in their function if the area they live in is pure. This is like a wick; the more free of dirt or other impediments, the smoother the flow of fuel to the flame. The tzadikim are the bearers of the flame. For through them we can be connected to that spiritual light whose nature is heaven-bound.

chanoch's Commentary

This section did not define what or who is a Tzadik. We think that only certain people are Tzadikim. Yet each Child of Israel is potentially a Tzadik when ever they do a good deed. Then most fall to a lower level again. Then they are not a Tzadik. The reason the Tzadikim are necessary to draw the Shefa into the Land of Israel is that they the Tzadikim have the larger desire to receive and that is what draws the Shefa. As this teaching continues we will also discuss what is the meaning of the Land of Israel according to the Prophecies relating to the time of Mashiach. This is not yet the time to discuss this but it does impact this discussion of the Tzadikim in and out of Israel.