Zohar Shemini Section 12 - The Oral Law and the Written Law

Zohar Shemini Section 12. - THE WRITTEN LAW AND THE ORAL LAW

It is recommended that one delay the reading of the Synopsis until after one has studied the Zohar Section.


We learn that the Torah is the Written Law, Zeir Anpin, and the commandments are the Oral Torah, Malchut. The parent of both is the preserved wine, Binah. The youth tells us about the "Supernal Book," Chochmah, that disappeared, and that inspired the Written Law. The Oral Torah is kept by the mouth, that is Knowledge or Zeir Anpin. Moses was elevated above all other prophets because he is the Chariot of Da'at, from which issues the Oral Torah. The youth says that when the wicked are removed from the world, God's throne is established in Righteousness and not in Judgment.

Pasook 93. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Shemini

תּוּ פָּתַח וְאָמַר, וַיֹּאמֶר יְיָ' אֶל מֹשֶׁה עֲלֵה אֵלַי הָהָרָה וְגוֹ'. וְהַתּוֹרָה, דָּא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָּב. וְהַמִּצְוָה, דָּא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. לְהֹרֹתָם כְּתִיב חָסֵר, כד"א וְאֶל חֶדֶר הוֹרָתִי. הָכָא אִית לְאִסְתַּכְּלָא, לְהוֹרֹתָם דְּמִי, אִי תֵּימָא הוֹרֹתָם דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, לָאו הָכֵי, דְּהָא יִשְׂרָאֵל לָא אַדְכָּרוּ בְּהַאי קְרָא. אֶלָּא הוֹרֹתָם דְּתוֹרָה וּמִצְוָה. וּמַאי הִיא. דָּא יַיִן דְּמִנְטְרָא. בְּגִין דְּכָל כְּתִיבָה דְּסֵפֶר עִלָּאָה תַּמָּן שַׁרְיָא, וּמִתַּמָּן נָפְקָא תּוֹרָה, וְעַל דָּא קָרֵינָן תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָּב. וְדָא הוּא אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי לְהֹרֹתָם, לְהֹרֹתָם וַדַּאי.

He continued his discourse and cited: "And Hashem said to Moses, 'Come up to Me to the mountain AND WAIT THERE; AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE TABLETS OF STONE AND THE TORAH AND THE COMMANDMENTS WHICH I HAVE WRITTEN, THAT YOU MAY TEACH THEM'" (Shemot 24:12). "And the Torah," is the Written Law, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, while "and the commandments," is the Oral Torah, WHICH IS MALCHUT. "You may teach them (Heb. lehorotam)," is written without the letter Vav, as it is written in the verse: "And into the chamber of her who conceived me (Heb. horati)" (Shir Hashirim 3:4). We should observe to whom it refers when it says: "Teach them (also: 'their parents of')". You may think that it refers to Yisrael, WHO ARE MALE AND FEMALE, FOR THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL ARE THEIR CHILDREN, AS IT IS WRITTEN: "YOU ARE THE CHILDREN OF HASHEM YOUR ELOHIM" (DEVARIM 14:1). Yet this is not so. For Yisrael are not mentioned in this verse, AND SO IT IS NOT SAID OF THEM "TEACH THEM". The parent of the Torah and the commandments is the preserved wine, WHICH IS BINAH, THE MOTHER OF MALE AND FEMALE, WHICH ARE CALLED "THE TORAH AND THE COMMANDMENTS." All the writings of the Supernal Book, WHICH IS CHOCHMAH, CALLED 'SUPERNAL BOOK', rests there IN THE BINAH, FOR THE SUPERNAL BOOK, CHOCHMAH, IS CONCEALED. AND ITS FIRST REVELATION, WHICH IS CONSIDERED WRITTING, IS IN BINAH, from which the WRITTEN Law, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN issues. Therefore, we call ZEIR ANPIN 'the Written Law', FOR IT WAS INSPIRED BY THE WRITING, WHICH IS BINAH. That is the meaning of: "Which I have written that you may teach them (or: for their parents)." It is indeed "their parents," NAMELY CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, THE SECRET OF A BOOK AND OF WRITING, WHICH ARE THE PARENTS OF ZEIR ANPIN.

chanoch's Commentary

This Zohar Pasook turns our world upside down. The Torah originally was to be given in Malchut and raised the people through its study to Binah. This was the original Tablets that Moshe broke. The reason for the breaking as explained in the midrash no longer makes sense. The midrash teaches that Moshe broke the Tablets to prevent adultery by the Children of Israel which this Zohar tells us is not included. Actually Zeir Anpin which we call the written law is meant to be malchut since what we call Malchut will be unified with Zeir Anpin. Thus the Name will be Yood Hai Yood Alef. This is my opinion since Vav Hai has a gematria of 11 just as Yood Alef.

Pasook 94. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Shemini

תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה, תּוֹרָה אָחֳרָא, דְּקַיְּימָא עַל פֶּה. מַאן אִיהוּ פֶּה. דָּא הוּא דַּעַת, דְּאִיהוּ פֶּה דְּסֵפֶר וּכְתִיבָה. וְתוֹרָה דָּא, הִיא תּוֹרָה אָחֳרָא, דְּאִקְרֵי תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה, דְּאִיהִי קַיְּימָא עַל הַהוּא פֶּה דְּאִיהִי תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָּב, בְּגִין כַּךְ אִסְתָּלִיק מֹשֶׁה בְּכֹלָּא, עַל כָּל שְׁאָר נְבִיאֵי מְהֵימְנֵי, דִּכְתִּיב וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ, לְךָ דַּיְיקָא.

The Oral Torah, WHICH IS MALCHUT, is another Torah which is kept AND MAINTAINED orally (lit. 'by mouth'). Who is the mouth? It is Da'at ('Knowledge'), NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH RFECONCILES CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, the mouth of the book and the writing, WHICH ARE CHOCHMAH AND BINAH. FOR DA'AT IS ZEIR ANPIN, IT RECONCILES AND REVEALES CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, THE SECRET OF A BOOK AND OF WRITING, AS THE MOUTH OF A MAN REVEALS WHAT IS HIDDEN IN HIS MIND. This Torah is different FROM THE WRITTEN TORAH and it is called 'the Oral Torah', which is kept AND MAINTAINED by (lit. 'the mouth') of that Torah which is called 'the Written Torah', WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. MALCHUT IS MAINTAINED BY ZEIR ANPIN, AS IS KNOWN; THEREFORE, IT IS CALLED 'THE ORAL TORAH'. Therefore, Moses was elevated above all other faithful prophets, as it is written: "And I will give you," especially TO HIM, EXCLUDING THE OTHER PROPHETS. FOR MOSES IS THE CHARIOT OF THE DA'AT, FROM WHICH ISSUES THE ORAL TORAH.

chanoch adds: read the commentary on the previous pasook.