Zohar Shemini Section 9 - The Preserved Wine

Zohar Shemini Section 9. THE PRESERVED WINE

We recommend that one read the Synopsis after studying this section of Zohar


We learn from Rabbi Yitzchak that the wine of below depends on the wine above; the World to Come, Binah, is the source of all the living beings above and below and the place where the preserved wine rests. Any wine that is made by or touched by an idolater is defiled and therefore forbidden. Yisrael drink the wine that has been made in holiness; therefore one pronounces the blessing over wine below to correspond with the wine above.

Pasook 83 from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Shemini

.רִבִּי יִצְחָק פָּתַח, אֲשֶׁר חֵלֶב זְבָחֵימוֹ יֹאכֵלוּ יִשְׁתּוּ יֵין נְסִיכָם. זַכָּאִין אִינּוּן יִשְׂרָאֵל דְּאִינּוּן קַדִּישִׁין, וְקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא בָּעֵי לְקַדְּשָׁא לוֹן. ת"ח יִשְׂרָאֵל קַדִּישִׁין, כָּל חַיֵּי עָלְמָא דְּיַרְתִין, כֹּלָּא תַּלְיָין בְּהַהוּא עָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי, בְּגִין דְּאִיהוּ חַיִּין דְּכֹלָּא, לְעֵילָּא וְתַתָּא, וְהוּא אֲתַר, דְּיַיִן דְּמִנְטְרָא שָׁארִי וּמִתַּמָּן נָפְקִין חַיִּין וּקְדוּשָׁא לְכֹלָּא. וְיַיִן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגִין יַיִן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אָחֳרָא, וְדָא בְּדָא תַּלְיָא. דְּהָא יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעֵילָּא, בֵּיהּ נָטִיל חַיִּין, ובג"כ אִקְרֵי עֵץ חַיִים, עֵץ מֵהַהוּא אֲתַר דְּאִקְרֵי חַיִּים, וְנַפְקֵי מִתַּמָּן חַיִּין, וְעַל דָּא מְבָרְכִין לֵיהּ לְקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא בְּיַיִן. וְיַיִן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְתַתָּא כְּהַאי גַּוְונָא.

Rabbi Yitzchak said: "Those that did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their offering" (Devarim 32:38). Happy are Yisrael who are holy, as the Holy One, blessed be He, desires to sanctify them. Come and behold: All the life of the world that the holy children of Yisrael inherit is derived from the World to Come, WHICH IS BINAH, for it is the source of all the living beings above and below and the place where the preserved wine rests “ NAMELY, THE LEFT COLUMN OF BINAH FROM WHICH Life and Holiness issues out to all. The wine of Yisrael BELOW IS HOLY on account of the wine of another Yisrael ABOVE, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN AND WHICH RECEIVES THE PRESERVED WINE FROM BINAH, AS MENTIONED ABOVE. One depends on the other, FOR THE WINE BELOW DEPENDS ON THE WINE ABOVE, for the Supernal Yisrael, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, derives life from THE WINE “ NAMELY THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, CALLED 'LIVING CREATURE'. Therefore, it is called 'the Tree of Life', NAMELY a tree taken from a place called 'Life', from which life comes forth. Therefore, they bless the Holy One, blessed be He, with wine, FOR the wine of Yisrael below is as THE WINE ABOVE.

chanoch's Commentary

This section is difficult for many people raised in the American value of equality to deal with. We will discuss this more at length below. In this verse the term being used by Rabbi Ashlag is "illumination of Chochmah". Chochmah is wisdom. Illumination is an aspect of revealment. When someone makes Kiddush which is a Blessing on wine one is manifesting the revelation of the wisdom one received during their prayer. The word Kiddush comes from the Shoresh dealing with Holiness. Holiness is a right column aspect just as Chochmah. Wine is a left column aspect since it gets people "high" fulfilling their desires. When wine is pasteurized in our physical world it is changed which makes it no longer Holy. Therefore it is not considered as beneficial to be used as the Kiddush Wine.

Pasook 84. from the Zohar Commentary on the Parasha Shemini

עוֹבֵד עכו"ם, דְּאִיהוּ מְסָאָב, וּמַאן דְּקָרִיב בַּהֲדֵיהּ יִסְתְּאָב, כַּד יִקְרַב בְּיַיִן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָא אִסְתְּאַב וְאָסִיר, כ"ש הַהוּא יַיִן דְּאִיהוּ עָבֵיד. וְעַ"ד לָא תֵּימָא דְּדָא הוּא בִּלְחוֹדוֹי, אֶלָּא כָּל מַה דְּעָבְדֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְתַתָּא, כֹּלָּא הוּא כְּעֵין דּוּגְמָא דִּלְעֵילָּא, כ"ש יַיִן, דְּקָאֵי בַּאֲתַר עִלָּאָה, דּוּגְמָא דְּיַיִן דְּמִנְטְרָא.

An idolater is defiled, and whoever approaches him will be defiled. Therefore, if he approaches AND TOUCHES the wine of Yisrael, THE WINE is defiled and is forbidden FOR DRINKING. All the more forbidden is the wine which is made by an idolater, FOR IT IS DEFILED, AS THEIR WINE IS FROM THE ASPECT OF THE OTHER SIDE. THEY DRAW THE INTOXICATING WINE, THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF THE CHOCHMAH, FROM THE LEFT, FROM ABOVE DOWNWARD, WHICH IS A GREAT IMPURITY WHICH FEEDS THE KLIPOT, CONSIDERED THE DETRITUS OF GOLD. THIS IS UNLIKE THE PRESERVED WINE, WHICH IS THE WINE OF THE SUPERNAL YISRAEL, ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS DRAWN FROM BELOW UPWARD. Do not say then that this alone “ MEANING THE WINE OF YISRAEL BELOW “ IS THE SAME MODEL AS ABOVE, for everything that Yisrael do below is the same as the supernal model. The wine that is in a supernal place is all the more like the preserved wine.

chanoch's Commentary

Defilement is a translation for the Hebrew word Tumah. Tumah is spiritual defilement. The Kabbalah teaches that Tumah transfers like energy transfers. The Kabbalah indicates that something that is not Holy can be defiled. Sometimes if the Tumah is strong enough it will overcome even the positive aspect of Holiness. Preserved wine is Holy but the Tumah associated with an idolater is able to overcome this Holiness. This is why perserved wine is protected from the touch and even the sight of an idolator. In Moslem countries the same protection is not needed as the Moslem religion is not considered idol worship. The same can not be said of the religions that folllow the man from Nazereth.

Pasook 85. from the Zohar Commentary of the Parasha Shemini

בְּג"כ יִשְׂרָאֵל שַׁתְיָין יַיִן דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, דְּאִתְעָבֵיד כַּדְקָא חֲזֵי בִּקְדוּשָּׁה, כְּגַוְונָא דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְעֵילָּא, דְּשָׁתֵי וְאִשְׁתָּרְשָׁא וְאִתְבָּרְכָא בְּהַהוּא יַיִן עִלָּאָה קַדִּישָׁא, וְלָא שָׁתָאן יַיִן דְּאִתְעָבֵיד בִּמְסָאֲבוּתָא, וּמִסִּטְרָא דִּמְסָאֲבוּתָא, דְּהָא בֵּיהּ שַׁרְיָא רוּחָא דִּמְסָאֲבוּתָא. וּמַאן דְּשָׁתֵי לֵיהּ, אִסְתְּאַב רוּחֵיהּ, וְאִסְתְּאַב אִיהוּ, וְלָאו הוּא מִסִּטְרָא דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלֵית לֵיהּ חוּלָקָא בְּעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. דְּהָא הַהוּא עָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי, יַיִן דְּמִנְטְרָא אִיהוּ.

Therefore, Yisrael drink the wine of Yisrael that has been made in Holiness as Yisrael above, ZEIR ANPIN “ who drinks the wine and spreads roots and is blessed by that holy supernal wine, WHICH IS DERIVED FROM THE BINAH, FROM BELOW UPWARD. They do not drink wine which has been made with impurity from the Side of Impurity, for the Spirit of Impurity rests upon it and whoever drinks it defiles his spirit. He is defiled and he is not of the side of Yisrael and has no share in the World to Come, for in the World to Come, WHICH IS BINAH, lies the preserved wine, WHICH IS DERIVED FROM BELOW UPWARD, AS WAS MENTIONED.

chanoch adds: This runs counter to the American value that everyone is equal. Tumah does not treat everyone the same since some people have a greater protection from the attack of Tumah - meaning the transfer of this negative energy.

Pasook 86. from the Zohar Commentary on the Parasha Shemini

וְעַל דָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל קַדִּישִׁין, בַּעְיָין לְנַטְרָא דָּא עַל כֹּלָּא, בְּגִין דְּאִתְקְשַׁר בַּאֲתַר דְּעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. ובג"כ, בְּיַיִן אִתְבְּרִיךְ קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא יַתִּיר מִכֹּלָּא, בְּגִין דְּאִיהוּ חַדֵּי לְסִטְרָא שְׂמָאלָא, וּבְגוֹ חֶדְוָותָא דִּילֵיהּ אִתְכְּלִיל בִּימִינָא. וְכַד אִתְעָבֵיד כֹּלָּא יְמִינָא, כְּדֵין שְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא בְּחֵידוּ, וּבִרְכָּאן מִשְׁתַּכְּחֵי בְּכֻלְּהוּ עָלְמִין. וּבְעוֹבָדָא דִּלְתַתָּא יִתְּעַר עוֹבָדָא דִּלְעֵילָּא, וְעַ"ד מְזַמְּנֵי יַיִן לָקֳבֵיל יַיִן.

Therefore, the holy Yisrael must guard this more than anything else, since it is attached to the place of the World to Come, AS MENTIONED ABOVE. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, is blessed with wine more than with anything else, for it gladdens the left side OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH OBTAINS FROM THE FORCE OF THE PRESERVED WINE OF BINAH. In that rejoicing, it merges itself in the right side OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND THE CHASSADIM OF THE RIGHT ARE MERGED WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF THE CHOCHMAH IN THE LEFT. Thus, when the whole becomes right “ IN ZEIR ANPIN, IN WHICH THE RIGHT PREVAILS “ the Holy Name, WHO IS MALCHUT, is in bliss, and blessings are all over the worlds. By that act OF DRINKING THE WINE below, a reaction is elicited above, FOR THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, THE SECRET OF THE PRESERVED WINE, IS DRAWN DOWN FROM BINAH TO THE LEFT COLUMN OF ZEIR ANPIN. THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE VERSE: "DRINK DEEP, O LOVING FRIENDS" (SHIR HASHIRIM 4:2). Therefore, one pronounces the blessing upon wine BELOW to correspond with the wine ABOVE.

Pasook 87. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Shemini

וּבְגִין דְּאִיהוּ מְנַטְרָא לְעֵילָּא, בָּעֵי לְנַטְרָא לֵיהּ לְתַתָּא, וְכָל נְטִירוּ דִּילֵיהּ קְדוּשָּׁה הוּא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמַאן דְּפָגִים לֵיהּ לְתַתָּא בְּסִטְרָא דִּמְסָאֲבוּתָא, יִסְתְּאָב אִיהוּ בְּהַאי עָלְמָא, וְלֵית לֵיהּ חוּלָקָא בְּעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי, אֲתַר דְּהַהוּא יַיִן דְּמִנְטְרָא שַׁרְיָא. הוּא לָא נָטִיר לֵיהּ, לָא יִתְנְטַר הוּא לְעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. הוּא סָאִיב לֵיהּ, יִסְאֲבוּן לֵיהּ בְּהַהוּא עָלְמָא, לָא יְהֵא לֵיהּ חוּלָקָא בְּהַהוּא יַיִן דְּעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. זַכָּאִין אִינּוּן יִשְׂרָאֵל, דִּמְקַדְּשֵׁי נַפְשַׁיְיהוּ בִּקְדוּשָּׁה עִלָּאָה, וְנַטְרֵי מַה דְּאִצְטְרִיךְ לְאִתְנַטְרָא, וּמְקַדְּשֵׁי לְמַלְכָּא בִּנְטִירוּ עִלָּאָה דָּא. זַכָּאִין אִינּוּן בְּעָלְמָא דֵּין וּבְעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי.

Therefore, because THE WINE is preserved above, IN BINAH, it should be kept FROM THE TOUCH OF A STRANGER below, and by keeping it so, Yisrael become Holy. He from the Side of Impurity who defiles it below will be defiled in this world, and he will have no share in the World to Come, WHICH IS BINAH, THE PLACE WHERE the preserved wine rests. SINCE he does not care for THE WINE BELOW, he is not cared for in the World to Come. He defiles THE WINE; therefore, he will be defiled in that world and will have no share in the wine of the World to Come. Happy are Yisrael who sanctify themselves with the supernal Holiness, keep whatever should be kept, and sanctify the King with this supernal keeping. Happy are they in this world and in the World to Come.

chanoch's Commentary

Each person has a "higher" self in Binah. Since the wine is defiled in the lower level the damage is done also in the higher level of Binah. This is what the Pasook is describing using the positive and not the negative.