It is recommended to read / scan / study the section prior to reading the Synopsis.
Rabbi Elazar discusses the role and meaning of the letters of the Aleph-Bet. Just as the Torah begins with Bet, so was the world and man created with this letter. The Nukva, we are told, is as the Father, always standing by to bless. The relationship between The Creator and the Nukva is also discussed in some detail, along with its importance for the recitation of blessings.
THE RELEVANCE OF THE PASSAGE:
Because Bet is the first letter in the word blessing, Bet was chosen to be the instrument of Creation. The Hebrew letters are very much like DNA "“ they are the spiritual genetic information through which all existence comes into being. Connecting to the letters through this passage brings renewal, rejuvenation, and the connection with the creative forces of divinity that give rise to the universe as a whole.
Pasook 1. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלָיו יְהוּדָה וגו', רִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר פְּתַח, כִּי אַתָּה אָבִינוּ כִּי אַבְרָהָם לֹא יָדְעָנוּ וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יַכִּירֶנּוּ אַתָּה ה' אָבִינוּ גוֹאֲלֵנוּ מֵעוֹלָם שְׁמֶךָ. הַאי קְרָא אוֹקְמוּהָ, אֲבָל תָּא חֲזֵי, כַּד בָּרָא קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא עַלְמָא, כָּל יוֹמָא וְיוֹמָא, עָבֵיד עֲבִידְתָּא, כִּדְקָא חָזֵי, בְּכָל יוֹמָא וְיוֹמָא כְּמָה דְאִצְטְרִיךְ, כֵּיוָן דְּאָתָא יוֹמָא שְׁתִיתָאָה, וְאִצְטְרִיךְ לְמִבְרֵי אָדָם, אָתַת אוֹרַיְיתָא קַמֵּיהּ, אָמְרָה הַאי אָדָם דְּאַתְּ בָּעֵי לְמִבְרֵי, זַמִּין הוּא לְאַרְגָּזָא קַמָּךְ, אִלְמָלֵא לָא תַאֲרִיךְ רוּגְזָא, טַב לֵיהּ דְּלָא יִתְבְּרֵי. אֲמַר לָהּ קב"ה, וְכִי לְמַגָּנָא אִתְקְרֵינָא אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם.
"Then Judah came near to him" (Beresheet 44:18). Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion with the verse, "You are our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Yisrael acknowledge us not. You, Hashem, are our Father, our Redeemer; Your name is from everlasting" (Yeshayah 63:16). This verse has already been explained, yet come and behold, When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He did each day the work befitting it. When the sixth day arrived the time for Adam to be created the Torah came before Him and said, 'Adam, whom You want to create, will provoke You. Unless You curb Your wrath, it would be better for him not to be created.' The Holy One, blessed be He, asked, 'Am I called long-suffering for no reason?'
What question would you ask after reading this pasuk? I ask What does the Torah look like when Man has not yet been created?
Pasook 2. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
אֶלָּא, כֹּלָּא בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא אִתְבְּרֵי, וְכֹלָּא בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא אִשְׁתַּכְלֵיל, בְּגִין דְּעַד לָא בָּרָא קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא עַלְמָא, אַתְיָין כָּל אַתְוָון קַמֵּיהּ, וְעָאלוּ כָּל חַד וְחַד לְמַפְרֵעַ.
All was created through the medium of the Torah, and constructed by means of the Torah. And as the Torah begins with the letter Bet, so was the world created with the letter Bet. For before the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world THE NUKVA all the letters were presented before Him one by one, in reverse order.
Read section 6 of the prologue. Learn about the Hebrew Letters from our classes on the Yeshshem Web Site.
Pasook 3. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
עָאֳלַת תי"ו, אֲמָרָה קַמֵּיהּ, רְעוּתָךְ לְמִבְרֵי בִּי עַלְמָא, א"ל לָאו, דְּבָךְ זְמִינִין כַּמָּה צַדִּיקַיָא לְמֵימַת, דִּכְתִיב וְהִתְוֵיתָ תָּיו עַל מִצְחוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים וגו'. וְתָנִינָן, דִּכְתִיב וּמִמִּקְדָּשִׁי תָּחֵלּוּ אַל תִּקְרֵי מִמִּקְדָּשִׁי אֶלָּא מִמְקוּדָּשַׁי וּבְגִין כָּךְ עַלְמָא לָא יִתְבְּרֵי בָּךְ.
Tav came before Him and said, 'Would You create the world through me? The Holy One, blessed be He, responded, "No, for many righteous people are destined to die through you, in accordance with the verse, "and set a mark (Heb. tav) upon the foreheads of the men" (Yechezkel 9:4). We have also learned this from the verse, "and begin with My sanctuary" (Ibid. 6), in which the word 'sanctuary' should be read as 'sanctified' WHO ARE THE RIGHTEOUS. The world therefore will not be created through you."
It is said that when someone is ready to transform to the next world there will be a Tav on their forehead as a mark of the transition. The Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew Alef Bet and it has a leg that goes out toward the next letter which is the new frame of reference.
Pasook 4. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
עָאלוּ תְּלַת אַתְוָון: שִׁין, קוּף, רֵישׁ, כָּל חַד וְחַד בִּלְחוֹדוֹי, א"ל קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, לָאו אַתּוּן כְּדַאי, לְמִבְרֵי בְּכוֹ עַלְמָא, דְּהָא אַתּוּן אַתְוָון דְּאִתְקְרֵי בְּכוֹ שֶׁקֶר, וְשֶׁקֶר לָאו אִיהוּ כְּדַאי לְמֵיקַם קַמַּאי, וְהָא אוֹקְמוּהָ.
The three letters Shin, Kof, and Resh came before Him, each on its own. The Holy One, blessed be He said, 'It is not worthwhile to create the world by you, for you are the letters which combine to create the word 'lie' (Heb. sheker), and no lie deserves to rise before Me," as has already been explained.
The pasuk is clear as written. It is also important to look at the shape of the letters which all stand on one leg while the letters of the word Emet - truth stands on a wide stand or two legs. The teaching is always related to the idea that a lie needs a bit of truth to be believed. A lie always starts with truth which is the letter Shin, while the balance of the letters, which spells the word Kar meaning cold, are connected to untruths. Shin represents fire and hot. Kar is cold. A Sheker will always motivate someone to heat up and then cool down.
Pasook 5. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
וְעָלוּ פֵּ"א צד"י, וְכֵן כֻּלְּהוּ, עַד דְּמָטוֹ אַתְוָון לְאָת כ"ף, כֵּיוָן דְּנָחַת כּ"ף מֵעַל כִּתְרָא, אִזְדַּעְזָעוֹ עִלָּאֵי וְתַתָּאֵי כו', עַד דְּאִתְקַיֵּים כְּלָא בָּאת בֵּי"ת, דְּאִיהוּ סִימָן בְּרָכָה, וּבֵיהּ אִשְׁתַּכְּלֵל עַלְמָא וְאִתְבְּרֵי.
Then came the letters Pe and Tzadi, and so on until the letter Caf. Once Caf descended from the Crown (Heb. keter), the higher and lower worlds shook until all was established using the letter Bet, a sign of blessing (Heb. berachah) and the world was created and constructed by it.
The verse is clear as written. There is more on our website, as indicated above.
Pasook 6. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
וְאִי תֵימָא, דְּאל"ף אִיהוּ רֵישָׁא דְּכָל אַתְוָון, יָאוֹת אִיהוּ, אֶלָּא בְּגִין דְּאִתְקְרֵי בֵּיהּ אָרוּר, וּבְג"ד לָא אִתְבְּרֵי בֵּיהּ עַלְמָא, אע"ג דְּאל"ף אִיהוּ אָת דְּרָזָא עִלָּאָה, בְּגִין דְּלָא לְמֵיהַב דּוּכְתָּא לְסִטְרָא אָחֳרָא, דְּאִקְרֵי אָרוּר, לָא אִתְבְּרֵי בֵּיהּ עַלְמָא, וְאִשְׁתַּכְלֵיל בְּבֵי"ת עַלְמָא, וּבֵיהּ אִתְבְּרֵי.
You may say that Aleph is the first letter, AND THAT THE WORLD SHOULD HAVE BEEN CREATED THROUGH IT. HE ANSWERS, True, but because the word damned (Heb. arur) begins with the letter Aleph, the world was not created through it. Thus, although Aleph pertains to a Supernal Secret, the world was not created by means of it, so that no opening NAMELY, POWER AND STRENGTH could be given to Other Side, called 'damned'. Rather, the world was constructed and created by Bet.
The verse is clear as written.
Pasook 7. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
תָּא חֲזֵי, כִּי אַתָּה אָבִינוּ, בְּגִין דְּהַאי עַלְמָא, בְּהַאי דַרְגָּא אִשְׁתַּכְלֵל וְאִתְבְּרֵי, וּבַר נַשׁ בֵּיהּ אִתְבְּרֵי, וּנְפַק לְעַלְמָא.
Come and behold, "You are our father" means that this world THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED 'YOU' was constructed and created in this grade, marked by blessing. Similarly, the world was created and constructed through Bet, which was a sign of blessing. Man was also created through it THROUGH THE SIGN OF BLESSING and was issued into the world. THEREFORE, IN THIS RESPECT, THE NUKVA WAS CONSIDERED THE ROOT OF MAN, AND WE ADDRESS HER AS 'YOU ARE OUR FATHER' THAT IS, 'YOU ARE OUR ROOT'. HUMANKIND TOO WAS CREATED WITH THE MARK OF BLESSING.
Malchut is female and as such is necessary to create both form and substance. A male is unable to create form and substance and thus Zeir Anpin needs the female Malchut to make the physical world. That is the metaphor of the letter bet - a female letter. Can Malchut create herself? Yes and no. No - without the help of Zeir Anpin, while yes with the help of Zeir Anpin. This is why Yesod is constantly connected to Malchut while also available to separate from Malchut. This is my opinion.
Pasook 8. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
כִּי אַבְרָהָם לֹא יְדָעָנוּ, דְּהָא אע"ג דְּבֵיהּ קִיּוּמָא דְעַלְמָא, לָא אִשְׁתַּדַּל עֲלָן, כְּמָה דְאִשְׁתַּדַּל עַל יִשְׁמָעֵאל, דַּאֲמַר לוּ יִשְׁמָעֵאל יִחְיֶה לְפָנֶיךָ. וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יַכִּירֶנּוּ, בְּגִין דְּכָל בִּרְכָאן דְּאִצְטְרִיךְ לְבָרְכָא לִבְנוֹי, שָׁבַק לְהַאי דַרְגָּא לְבָרְכָא כֻּלְּהוּ.
The verse, "though Abraham be ignorant of us," means that although the world is sustained by him, THE SECRET OF CHESED AS IT IS WRITTEN, "THE WORLD IS BUILT BY CHESED" (TEHILIM 89:3) he nevertheless did not care for us as he did for Ishmael, as it is written, "O that Ishmael might live before You" (Beresheet 17:18). The verse continues, "and Yisrael acknowledge us not," for all the blessings he should have conferred on his sons, he let this grade THE NUKVA have to bless all. Thus, according to the verses, "and this is that which their father spoke to them" (Beresheet 49:28), the Nukva called 'this' spoke on behalf of their father and blessed them. Also when he blessed Ephraim and Menasheh, He said, as it is written, "the angel who redeemed me from all evil" namely, the Nukva "bless the boys" (Beresheet 48:16).
Malchut has no light of its own. Yet when it is completely fulfilled Malchut is manifesting the Blessing of all of creation. Contemplate this meaning.
Pasook 9. of Zohar Vayigash Section 1 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Vayigash
אַתָּה ה' אָבִינוּ, דְּהָא אַנְתְּ קָיְימַת עֲלָן תָּדִיר לְבָרְכָא, וּלְאַשְׁגָּחָא עֲלָן, כְּאַבָּא דְאַשְׁגַּח עַל בְּנִין, בְּכָל מַה דְּאִצְטְרִיךְ לוֹן. גּוֹאֲלֵנוּ מֵעוֹלָם שְׁמֶךָ, דְּהָא אַנְתְּ הוּא גוֹאֵל, דְּהָכֵי אִתְקְרֵי הַמַּלְאָךְ הַגּוֹאֵל, וְדָא גוֹאֲלֵנוּ מֵעוֹלָם שְׁמֶךָ, שְׁמֶךָ וַדַּאי. תָּנִינָן אֵין מַפְסִיקִין בֵּין גְּאוּלָּה לִתְפִלָּה, כְּמָה דְלָא מַפְסִיקִין בֵּין תְּפִלָּה שֶׁל יַד, לִתְפִלָּה שֶׁל רֹאשׁ, דְּבָעֵי לְמֶחֱזֵי דְּכֹלָּא חַד, וְהָא אוֹקְמוּהָ.
"You, Hashem, are our Father" NAMELY, THE NUKVA always standing by to bless and care for us, like a father taking care of the needs of children; "our Redeemer; Your name is from everlasting," for You (THE NUKVA) are our Redeemer She is called 'the angel who redeemed'. Thus, in the phrase, "our Redeemer; Your name is from everlasting," "Your name" is assuredly THE NUKVA CALLED 'THE NAME OF HASHEM'. We have learned that we should not stop between reciting the blessings, "who has redeemed Yisrael," and the Amidah; or between the blessing of the hand Tefilin and that of the head Tefilin as has already been explained.
The two sets of Blessing mentioned teach the importance of the unification of Zeir Anpin and Malchut. Intuitively we know that male must unite with female.
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