Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 - So They Took Up Jonah and Cast Him Into The Sea

It is recommended to study the Section prior to reading the Synopsis

Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

Pasook 1. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah


Here Rabbi Yosi explains the hidden meaning of the biblical story of Jonah and the whale, and the nature of the symbols used in the story. We learn that the soul is judged each night while we sleep, and that this judgment is twofold. People are not judged according to the evil that they are destined to commit, but rather for the good that they have done and will go on to do. The question of whether The Creator takes pleasure in punishing the wicked is then raised. In answer, it is pointed out that all human beings have a predetermined amount of evil they are allowed to commit. Once this limit passed, there is pleasure at their demise.


The universal law of cause and effect is deeply embedded into our reality. For every negative action there is an equal negative reaction. The concept of time, however, creates a separation between cause and effect in our physical world. When man commits a negative deed, time delays the inevitable consequences. Repercussions from wrongful actions appear at a later date, creating the illusion that these repercussions are random events. Our negative inclination then tempts us to point the finger of blame at God because the original cause "our negative action " is forgotten and hidden somewhere in the past. A reading of this section makes us more keenly aware of our actions and the judgments they invariably bring, arousing a stronger intention to ardently walk the path of righteousness.

Pasook 1. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, פְּתַח וַאֲמַר, וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת יוֹנָה וַיְטִלֻהוּ אֶל הַיָּם וַיַּעֲמֹד הַיָּם מִזַּעְפּוֹ. הָכָא אִית לְאִסְתַּכָּלָה, מ"ט, אַרְעִישַׁת יַמָּא, עֲלֵיהּ דְּיוֹנָה, וְלָא אַרְעִישַׁת עֲלֵיהּ אַרְעָא, כֵּיוָן דַּהֲוָה אָזֵיל, בְּגִין דְּלָא תִשְׁרֵי עֲלֵיהּ שְׁכִינְתָּא, יַמָּא אַמַּאי אָחֵיד בֵּיהּ, כַּד הֲוָה אָזֵיל.

"And Sarah's life was a hundred year and twenty year and seven years" (Beresheet 23:1). Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion with the verse, "So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging" (Yonah 1:15). We have to examine this text carefully. Why did the sea rage upon Jonah and not the earth, NAMELY THE NUKVA CALLED EARTH? He was leaving the land, so that the Shechinah would not hover above him. In other words, he was running away from the land of Yisrael from the secret of the Nukva. If so, why did the sea seize him when he went away, and not the land from which he ran?

chanoch's Commentary

This question is a very good question. i have answered this in other places relating to the idea that Jonah was not running from the Land of Israel - He was running toward a speedier process. The problem - a human problem even for a Prophet is to stop trying to do a better job than HaShem. The gematria of Tarshish and Nineva is 121 to 1210. This indicates that there is a connection between these two locations or states of consciousness. One is not complete while the other is complete. It is inconceivable to me that a Prophet could try to run and defy HaShem. He will argue with HaShem as Moshe and Avraham did in their stories but try to escape from his direction of HaShem. This is a child's fable as far as i am concerned. All of the above is my own midrash not anything i have read or heard from a teacher. Please do your own independant thinking regarding this issue and what spiritual issues are involved in your life today.

Pasook 2. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

אֶלָא, וַדַּאי מִלָּה בְּאַתְרֵיהּ הֲוָה. יַם, תְּנַן, יַם דַּמְיָא לְרָקִיעַ, וְרָקִיעַ לְכִסֵּא הַכָּבוֹד, וּבְגִין כָּךְ, יַמָּא אָחִיד בֵּיהּ וּנְטַל לֵיהּ, מִקַּמֵּי יַמָא עָרַק.

RABBI YOSI ANSWERS THAT the verse was accurate, for the sea resembles the firmament, and the firmament resembles the Throne of Glory. For that reason, the sea grabbed him and received him in its midst. He was fleeing from the sea, namely from the prophecy that is drawn from the Mochin of the Nukva, which is an aspect of the sea. Thus, the sea raged upon him, not the land. He was cast into the sea to return him to the prophecy from which he was fleeing.

chanoch's Commentary

Does a Prophet have free choice? Or is he compelled to follow the instructions of HaShem even at the need to coerce him to do the requested action? For me the answer is no.

Pasook 3. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת יוֹנָה וַיְטִלֻהוּ אֶל הַיָּם. אוֹלִיפְנָא, כַּד הֲוָה נָטְלֵי לֵיהּ וְטָבְעֵי יַרְכוֹי בְּיַמָּא, הֲוָה יַמָּא שָׁכֵיךְ, זָקְפִין לֵיהּ, אִתְרְעֵישׁ יַמָּא, כָּל מַה דְּטָבְעֵי לֵיהּ, הָכֵי אִשְׁתְּכֵיךְ יַמָּא, עַד דְּאִיהוּ אֲמַר, שָׂאוּנִי וַהֲטִילֻנִי אֶל הַיָּם, מִיָּד וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת יוֹנָה וַיְּטִלֻהוּ אֶל הַיָּם.

"So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea." We learned that when they cast him into the sea and immersed him to his knees, the sea calmed. When they lifted him, the sea raged. The deeper they immersed him, the calmer the sea became, until he said, "Take me up, and cast me into the sea" (Yonah 1:12). Immediately, "they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea."

chanoch's Commentary

Why do you think the Zohar and Rabbi Ashlag left this Zohar pasook repeating words of Torah and not adding information to help explain the words of Torah. This is unusual in the Torah and Zohar. when you start to ask question you create vessels for the light of the fulfillment which is the answer to be revealed. This is my opinion. When we read on we may or may not see a reason for this. Whether we receive an answer or not within this section at some time we will receive the answer to this question since the only reason we were instructed to ask the question is to receive/reveal the answer.

Pasook 4. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

כֵּיוָן דְּאִתְרַמֵּי בַּיָּם פָּרְחָה מִנֵּיהּ נִשְׁמָתֵיהּ וְסָלְקָא עַד כָּרְסְיָיא דְמַלְכָּא, וְאִתְדָּנַת קַמֵּיהּ, וְאַהֲדָרַת לֵיהּ נִשְׁמָתֵיהּ, וְעָאל בְּפוּמָא דְהַהוּא נוּנָא, וּמִית נוּנָא לְבָתַר אִתְקַיַּים הַהוּא נוּנָא, וְאוֹקְמוּהָ.

When he was thrown into the sea, his soul soared and ascended to the King's throne to be judged. When his soul was returned to him, he entered the mouth of that fish, which died and later came back to life.

chanoch's Commentary

Does this imply a double resurrection of the death. Yes the soul will be resurrected and the body will be resurrected and placed together back within the level of Malchut and the physical world to receive the true pleasures of the physical world. A pleasure so great that we can not conceive of this pleasure and the joy we will feel to receive it - so we are told.

Pasook 5. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

תָּא חֲזֵי, בְּשַׁעְתָּא דְּבַר נָשׁ סָלֵיק בְּעַרְסֵיהּ, כָּל לֵילְיָא וְלֵילְיָא נִשְׁמָתֵיהּ נָפְקַת מִנֵּיהּ, וְאִתְדָּנַת קַמֵּי בֵּי דִינָא דְמַלְכָּא, אִי זַכָּאָה לְאִתְקָיְימָא, אִתְהַדָּרַת לְהַאי עַלְמָא.

Come and behold, When a man goes to sleep each night, his soul leaves him to be judged before the King's court. If it merits life, his soul is returned to this world.

chanoch's Commentary

Read this carefully. Each night the soul is judged. Not the body.

Pasook 6. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

וְדִינָא הוּא בִּתְרֵין גְּוָונִין, דְּהָא לָא דָיְינִין לֵיהּ לְבַר נָשׁ, עַל בִּישִׁין דְּאִיהוּ עָתִיד וְזַמִּין לְמֶעְבַּד, דִּכְתִיב כִּי שָׁמַע אֱלֹֹהִים וגו' בַּאֲשֶׁר הוּא שָׁם. וְלָא תֵימָא, דְּדָנִין לֵיהּ עַל טָבִין דְּעָבֵיד לְחוּד, אֶלָּא לְאוֹטָבָא לֵיהּ עַל אִינוּן טָבִין דְּהַשְׁתָּא, כְּמָה דְאִתְּמָר, וְדָנִין לֵיהּ עַל זָכְיָין דְּאִיהוּ זַמִּין לְמֶעְבַּד, וּבְגִינַיְיהוּ אִשְׁתְּזֵיב, אע"ג דְּאִיהוּ הַשְׁתָּא חַיָּיבָא. בְּגִין דְּקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא עָבֵיד טִיבוּ, עִם כָּל בִּרְיָין, וְכָל אָרְחוֹי דְאִיהוּ עָבֵיד, לְאוֹטָבָא לְכֹלָּא, וְלָא דָאִין לְב"נ, עַל בִּישִׁין דְּאִיהוּ זַמִּין לְמֶעְבַּד, וּבְגִין כָּךְ אִתְדָּן בַּר נָשׁ, קַמֵּי קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא.

The judgment is twofold, for man is not judged for the evil he is destined to commit. "For Elohim has heard the voice of the lad where he is" (Beresheet 21:17) is written, NOT IN THE FUTURE TENSE. You should not say that man is judged only for the good he has already done, rather he is rewarded for his present good as was said above, and he is also judged for the good he will do in the future. He is saved for their sake, as they said, even though he is now wicked. The Holy One, blessed be He, does good with all people and does everything to benefit all, therefore He does not sentence man for the evil he is about to do. Hence, man is judged before the Holy One, blessed be He, WHO KNOWS THE FUTURE.

chanoch's Commentary

Remember to define evil before you think you understand this pasook. It will help you learn the spiritual system. Evil is the desire to receive for oneself alone. Thus what appears as good to us with our physical senses may very be evaluated as evil by the heavenly tribunal.

Pasook 7. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

תָּא חֲזֵי, כֵּיוָן דְּאַטִּילוּ לֵיהּ לְיוֹנָה בְּיַמָּא, מַה כְּתִיב, וַיַּעֲמֹד הַיָּם מִזַּעְפּוֹ. הַיָּם עִלָּאָה, מַאי וַיַּעֲמֹד, דְּקָאֵים בְּקִיּוּמֵיהּ, כִּדְקָא יָאוֹת, בַּעֲמִידָה אִיהוּ, כַּד רוֹגְזָא שָׁכֵיךְ, בְּשַׁעְתָּא דְּדִינָא שַׁרְיָא בְּעַלְמָא, הַהוּא בֵּי דִינָא, אִיהוּ כְּאִתְּתָא דְּמִתְעַבְּרָא, וְקַשְׁיָא לְאוֹלָדָא, וְכַד אוֹלִידַת שְׁכֵיךְ רוּגְזָא. הָכֵי נָמֵי, כַּד דִּינָא שַׁרְיָא בְּעַלְמָא לָא שָׁכֵיךְ וְלָא נָח, עַד דְּאִתְעֲבֵיד דִּינָא בְּחַיָּיבַיָא, כְּדֵין הוּא נַיְיחָא דִילֵיהּ, לְמֵיקַם בְּדוּכְתָּא שְׁלִים, וּלְמֵיקַם בְּקִיּוּמֵיהּ, הה"ד וּבַאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה. וְהָא אוֹקְמוּהָ.

Come and behold. Once they cast Jonah into the sea, it is written, "And the sea ceased (lit. 'stood') from its raging." THIS IS the supernal sea, THE NUKVA. It stood where it was, for when anger calms down, it stands. When judgment is passed upon the world, that court, NAMELY THE NUKVA, is like a pregnant woman experiencing severe labor pains. When she gives birth, the panic ceases. Similarly, when judgment is passed upon the world, it does not calm or rest until justice is administered to the wicked. Then it rests, wholly standing in its place and perfectly maintained. This is what the verse meant by the words, "But when the wicked perish, there is jubilation" (Mishlei 11:10). This has already been explained.

chanoch's Commentary

Yet when we truly understand this pasook we will come to realize that there is no instant where the Nukva is not standing from its rage. The world is perfect always. It just may not feel perfect to our imperfect physical senses. As the quote in the movie says, "Coach we are not perfect but tonight when we stepped on the field this team was perfect." HaShem is perfect and perfection can not create imperfection. That statement will take a lot of explanation that we do not have time for at this moment. Think about why one makes something imperfect. Send me an email after a while if you need to. Practice patience. My answer will require it.

Pasook 8. of Zohar Chayei Sarah Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Chayei Sarah

בַּאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה. וְהָכְתִיב הֶחָפֹץ אֶחְפֹּץ מוֹת הָרָשָׁע. וְהָא לֵית נַיְיחָא קַמֵּי קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, כַּד אִתְעֲבֵיד דִּינָא בְּרַשִּׁיעַיָּיא. אֶלָּא, כָּאן קוֹדֶם דְּאִשְׁתְּלֵים קִיסְטָא, כָּאן לְבָתַר דְּאִשְׁתְּלֵים קִיסְטָא.

HE THEN ASKS ABOUT THE VERSE, "But when the wicked perish, there is jubilation." Is it not written, "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die" (Yechezkel 18:23)? This would mean that there is no pleasure for the Holy One, blessed be He, when judgement is administered to the wicked. HE ANSWERS, Before their measure was filled, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, DID NOT HAVE PLEASURE THAT THE WICKED SHOULD DIE. But now, after the measure is full, "when the wicked perish, there is jubilation."

chanoch's Commentary

What does this teach us? There is a level of selfishness that we are allowed to do. There is a level of imperfection that we can co-create. When it is reached nothing helps. the judgment will be executed along with the defendant.