The Nut Garden

Gleanings of Zohar

Knowledge will be Increased

image“In the six hundredth year of the sixth, springs of wisdom will open above, springs of wisdom below, and the whole world will prepare to enter the seventh, just like a person preparing on the sixth day, as the sun is about to set, to enter Sabbath. Your mnemonic: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life… all the springs of the great abyss burst and the sluices of heaven were opened [Genesis 7:11].’ Rabbi Yose said to him, ‘All this is longer than the Companions have established, namely, one day of exile for Assembly of Israel, no more, as is written: He has made me desolate, faint all the day [Lamentations 1:13].’ He replied, ‘So I learned from father in the mysteries of letters of the Holy Name, the duration of the world and the days of Creation—all a single mystery” (Zohar 1:117a).

Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased (Daniel 12:4).

We Eat anything We Want and We are Strong and Healthy and Our Limbs are Fit

image“Resh Lakish said: ‘… If one comes to defile himself, the door is opened to him; if one comes to purify himself, he is assisted.’ … It was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishma’el: ‘Sin dulls [or: obstructs] a person’s לֵב [lev], heart, as is said: Do not become impure with them, וְנִטְמֵתֶם (ve-nitmetem), becoming impure, through them (Leviticus 11:43). Do not read וְנִטְמֵתֶם (ve-nitmetem), becoming impure, but rather וְנִטַּמְתֶּם (ve-nitamtem), becoming dulled [or: obstructed]'” (BT Yoma 38b).

“It is written: You shall sanctify yourselves and be holy… (Leviticus 11:44). If one comes to defile himself, he is surely defiled. And it is written: וְנִטְמֵתֶם (ve-nitmetem), becoming impure, through them (ibid., 43)—[spelled unconventionally] without an א: totally obstructed impurity, which cannot be purified as can other types of impurity. Furthermore, he is terrified of dangerous beasts, for in their eyes he appears as a kid and he is vulnerable, being divested of the human image [cf. BT Shabbat 151b; Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah on 3:7]. Rabbi Yeisa permitted the eating of chicken with dairy cheese [cf. BT Shabbat 130a]. Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘This is surely forbidden to you! One should not provide an opening for evil species. ‘Go, O Nazarite,’ one says, ‘around; do not approach the vineyard!’ This is surely forbidden to you, since it entails the same stricture as cattle. What is written of one who permits this? You gave the Nazarites wine to drink (Amos 2:12)—permitting this is like permitting that. And it is written: You shall not eat any abhorrent thing (Deuteronomy 14:3)—any includes everything” (Zohar 2:125b).

“Now, you might say, ‘What about the goat, upon which settles an impure spirit? Not so! For if an impure spirit settled upon it, we would be forbidden to eat it. Rather, they pass through them and manifest in front of them, yet do not settle within them; for as they settle, another spirit passes over them and they disengage from their bodies. So they appear in front of them and harass within them, yet do not possess their bodies—which we are therefore permitted to eat.

Whether cattle, beasts, birds, or fish of the sea—among all of them appear right and left, Compassion and Judgment. Whatever comes from the side of the right, the side of Compassion, we are permitted to eat; and all those coming from the side of the left, the side of Judgment, we are forbidden to eat [forbidden animals are predators, scavengers, and bottom feeders not worthy of emulation]—for all their bodies are impure and they all defile; an impure spirit settles within them, dwelling in them. Therefore, the holy spirit of Israel must not mingle with them nor be defiled by them, so that they may remain holy and be recognized above and below. Happy is their share, for the Holy King delights in them and seeks to purify and sanctify them above all, for they are linked to Him!

… Whoever eats of those forbidden foods clings to the Other Side and makes his soul and his body loathsome. An impure spirit settles upon him, and he demonstrates that he has no share in the supernal King and does not come from His side nor cleave to Him. If he departs like this from the world, he is seized by all those linked to the side of impurity, who defile him—punishing him as a person loathed by his Lord, loathed in this world and loathed in the world that is coming.

Of this is written וְנִטְמֵתֶם (ve-nitmetem), becoming impure, through them (Leviticus 11:43)—without an א, for there is no remedy for his loathsomeness, and he never emerges from impurity. Woe to them, woe to their souls, for they will never cling to the Bundle of Life because they have been defiled! Woe to their bodies, of which is written For their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be a horror to all flesh (Isaiah 66:24). What is a horror? A stench. Who causes this? That side to which they clung” (Zohar 3:41b).

“Rabbi Abba said: I have remembered a certain matter I heard from the Holy Lamp who heard it in the name of Rabbi Eli’ezer. One day a clever gentile came and said to him: Old man, old man… you say that you are closer to the divine King than all other peoples. Whoever is close to the King is forever rejoicing, without pain, without fear, without troubles. But you are perpetually in pain, trouble and agony, more than anyone else. Look at us—no pain, trouble nor agony approaches us at all, from whence it follows that we are close to the divine King and you are far from Him, and this is why you have pain and trouble and sorrow and agony, which we do not have.

Further: You do not eat of an animal found dead nor one not ritually slaughtered so that you will be healthy and your body healthy. We eat anything we want and we are physically strong and healthy and all our limbs are fit. You do not eat and all are sick with bad illnesses and broken more than all other peoples. You are a people whom YHWH hates above all. Old man, old man, do not say anything to me because I shall not listen to you, nor accept it from you. Rabbi Eli’ezer lifted up his eyes, looked at him, and turned him into a heap of bones [cf. Proverbs 18:2: A fool does not care for discerning but for exposing his inner thoughts; ibid., 26:4-5: Do not answer a dolt by his folly, lest you, too, be like him. Answer the dolt by his folly, lest he seem wise in his own eyes].

When his anger had subsided, he looked back, cried, and said: YHWH, our Master, how majestic Your name in all the earth! (Psalms 8:2). How strong is the power of the holy and mighty name in all the earth, and how beloved are words of Torah, for nothing is so minor that it will not be found in Torah, and even the smallest thing in Torah issued from the mouth of the blessed Holy One. Those matters that that wicked one asked, I too, once asked of Elijah, and he replied that in the academy of the firmament [these very matters] were laid out before the blessed Holy One, as follows…

Israel do not partake of animals found dead or those not ritually slaughtered, nor of filth and dirt of reptiles and insects as do other peoples, [but are nevertheless weaker than they are]. This is so. For the לֵב [lev], heart, which is soft and weak and is the king and the sustenance of the other limbs, does not take for its nourishment other than from the clearest and purest of all the blood, and its food is clean and clear and is softer and weaker than all the rest. And it leaves the remaining waste matter for the other limbs, and the other limbs are not concerned, but take all that waste, even the worst, and they are strong as befits them. This is why all the other limbs have skin eruptions and scabs, bright spots and leprous boils, and the heart has none of them, for it is clean and clear, and has no blemish whatsoever. Thus the blessed Holy One, took Israel, who is clean, clear, and without blemish, for Himself, as it says: You are entirely beautiful, my love, and there is no flaw in you [Song of Songs 4:7]. Rabbi Yose came, kissed his hands, and said: If I had come into the world just to hear this, it would have been sufficient” (Zohar Pinḥas).

Like a Woman who Mixes Her Dough with Water and Separates a Portion from the very Centre

Sesame Challah_1“Rabbi Yoḥanan son of Ḥanina said: The day consisted of twelve hours. In the first hour, his dust was gathered; in the second, it was kneaded into a shapeless mass. In the third, his limbs were shaped; in the fourth, a soul was infused into him; in the fifth, he arose and stood on his feet; in the sixth, he gave [the animals] their names; in the seventh, Eve became his mate; in the eighth, they ascended to bed as two and descended as four; in the ninth, he was commanded not to eat of the tree, in the tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was tried, and in the twelfth he was expelled and departed, for it is written, A man will not rest in splendor (Psalms 49:13)” (BT Sanhedrin 38a, cf. M Avot 1:1). 

[A king makes a land stand firm through justice.] But a deceitful man [lit., a man of תְּרוּמוֹת (terumot), donations] destroys it (Proverbs 29:4)—Adam, who was the completion of the world, and ḥallah is designated a תְּרוּמָה [terumah], donation… Rabbi Yose son of Keṣarta said: Like a woman who mixes her dough with water and separates ḥallah from the very centre [cf. Rabbi Ḥayyim Vital, Liqqutim Ḥadashim, 17-23 ], even so, at first, and wetness would well from the earth to water all the surface of the soil, then YHWH God fashioned the human, humus from the soil (Genesis 2:6)” (Bereshit Rabbah 14:1, cf. JT Shabbat 2:6 [5a]).

בְּרֵאשִׁית [Bereshit], In the beginning, this is ḥallah as it is written, רֵאשִׁית [reshit], the first, yield of your kneading troughs, חַלָּה [ḥallah], a round loaf, you shall present in donation (Numbers 15:20), as we have said, ‘Adam was חַלָּה [ḥallah] of the world…’ What is ḥallah? It is these seven species: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive oil of the land, and honey, which is honey of dates. חִטָה [Ḥitah], Wheat, is the tree from which the first man ate, and since he did not separate ḥallah, [holiness] did not descend upon ה, but dwelled upon ח and ט [which together with ה spell, חִטָה (ḥitah), wheat, and also allude to חֵטְא (ḥet), sin], causing death [cf. BT Berakhot 40a].

And the ḥallah is the Shekhinah, it includes these seven species [which hint at the lower seven sefirot]. In this was the sin of the first man; the drop, which is the י. Dough must have ḥallah taken from it. Immediately they fell upon that drop, and he gave seed that was included with both which is the ו and the mystery of the matter, הֵא, here, is seed for you, [and sow the land] (Genesis 47:23).

Because of this ḥallah is certainly a commandment given to the wife, because of her Adam who was the ḥallah of the world died. She needs to separate ḥallah, and to take it from her dough, which is her drop, to return it to man” (Tiqqunei ha-Zohar 31a).

A Jealous Fire: One Who Writes Down Halakhot is as One Who Burns the Torah

burnttorah“Rabbi El’azar said,… ‘You, cleaving to YHWH your God, are alive everyone of you today [Deuteronomy 4:4]. Now is it possible to cleave to Shekhinah, of whom it is written: YHWH your God is a devouring fire [ibid. 24]? Rather the meaning is: whoever marries his daughter to a disciple of the wise, conducts business on their behalf, or benefits them from his assets is regarded by scripture as if he cleaves to Shekhinah” (BT Ketubbot 111b, cf. BT Sotah 14a, where Rabbi Ḥama son of Ḥanina explains that one can approach and withstand the consuming fire of Shekhinah by imitating the divine, e.g., by clothing the naked, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, and burying the dead).

“Rabbi Huna son of Rabbi Joshua would not walk four cubits bareheaded, saying: The שְׁכִינָה [Shekhinah] Divine Presence, is above my head” (BT Qiddushin 31b).

“The General Agrippa asked Rabban Gamaliel, ‘It is written in your Torah, For YHWH your God is a devouring אֵשׁ [esh] fire, a קַנָּא [qana] jealous, God [Deuteronomy 4:24]. Is a wise man jealous of any but a wise man, a warrior of any but a warrior, a rich man of any but a rich man?’ He replied, ‘I will give you a parable: To what is the matter like? To a man who marries an additional wife. If the second wife is her superior, the first will not be jealous of her, but if she is her inferior, the first wife will be jealous of her’” (BT Avodah Zarah 55a).

“Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘A word lingers here with us.’ He opened, saying, ‘Two verses are written: YHWH your God is a devouring fire [Deuteronomy 4:24], and You, cleaving to YHWH your God, are alive every one of you today [ibid., 4]. We have established these verses in various places, and the Companions have been aroused by them.

Come and see: For YHWH your God is a devouring fire. The word has been discussed among the Companions: There is a fire devouring fire, devouring and consuming it, for there is fire fiercer than fire, as they have established [see BT Yoma 21b]. But come and see: Whoever desires to penetrate the wisdom of holy unification should contemplate the flame ascending from a glowing ember or a burning candle. For flame ascends only when grasped by course substance” (Zohar 1:50b-51a).

“The blue [light of a flame] is the Shekhinah, the Judgment that devours sacrifices and burnt offerings. If She finds men to be as dry wood, like dry wicks without oil, which is Torah and Compassion, [She] is a fire to them and burns them” (Ra’aya Meheimna Tzav, cf. Zohar 2:166a).

“Rabbi Abba son of Rabbi Ḥiyya son of Abba said in the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan [son of Nappaha]: One who writes down halakhot is as one who burns the Torah, and he who learns from them does not receive reward… Rabbi Yehudah the son of Nahum, the declaimer of Resh Lakish expounded: One may not recite oral teachings from a written document and one may not recite written teachings from memory. The school of Rabbi Ishmael taught: ‘Write for yourself these words’ [Exodus 34:27]. These words [i.e. the Written Torah] you may write, but you may not write halakhot” (BT Temurah 14b, cf. Gittin 60a-b; Guide of the Perplexed, 1:71).

“The Companions saw the face of Shekhinah and were encompassed by fire. Rabbi Abba’s face blazed in fire from rapture of Torah. It has been taught: All that day, none of them left the house, and the house was swathed in smoke. Words among them were fresh and ecstatic as if they were receiving Torah that very day from Mount Sinai! When they departed they did not know if it was day or night” (Zohar 1:94b, cf. Vayiqra Rabbah 16:4; Avot de-Rabbi Natan B, 13).

“As to what the rabbis have said: ‘Now is it possible for one to cleave to Shekhinah?—it certainly is!… Know and believe that there is a special quality to the essence of the purity of limbs that allows for man to hold fast to the Shekhinah even if She is a consuming fire” (Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla, Sha’arei Orah, 166).

Better a Thing’s End than Its Beginning

IMG_0545.JPG“There is no evil that does not contain some good… there is nothing evil in its proper place” (Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla, Secret of the Serpent).

“[Ben Azzai] used to say: Do not scorn any person and do not disdain anything; for there is no person who does not have his hour, and there is no thing that does not have its place” (M Avot 4:3).

“Rabbi Shim’on was walking on the way, accompanied by Rabbi El’azar, Rabbi Abba, Rabbi Yehudah, Rabbi Ḥiyya, and Rabbi Yose. They came to a certain obstructive watercourse [of the sort which people make in their fields (Sullam)], and Rabbi Yose slipped into the water fully clothed. He said, ‘This construction of measured water—I wish that it didn’t exist!’ Rabbi Shim’on said to him, ‘You are forbidden! This serves the world, and one must not treat contemptuously those who are of service to the blessed Holy One, especially since they are fashioned genuinely [this action has a root above (Sullam)].

He opened, saying, ‘God saw all He had made, and look, it was very good [Genesis 1:31]—existing according to the laws of supernal authority. God saw all that He had made—without qualification: even snakes, scorpions, and mosquitoes, and even that which seems to harm the world. Concerning all of them, it is written and look, it was very good. All of them serve the world, conduct the world, though people do not know [cf. Shemot Rabbah 10:1].’

As they were walking along, they saw a snake leading the way. Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘Surely, this one is about to perform a miracle for us!’ That snake slithered quickly in front of them and tangled with a viper diametrically across the road. They fought one another and died. When they reached them, they saw them both lying on the road. Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘Blessed is the Compassionate One who has performed a miracle for us! For if anyone looks at this [viper] while it is alive, or is looked upon by it, he is doomed, all the more so if he approaches it.’ He proclaimed over himself, ‘No evil will befall you, nor affliction draw near your tent. For His angels He will command for you, to guard you on all your ways [Psalms 91:10-11]. By all things the blessed Holy One fulfills His commission, and we must not treat contemptuously anything He has made. Thus it is written YHWH is good to all, and His compassion is over all His creatures, and similarly: All your creatures, YHWH, acclaim You [ibid.145:9-10]'” (Zohar 3:107a).

“It is related of Naḥum of Gamzu that he was blind in both his eyes, his two hands and legs were amputated—and his whole body was covered with boils and he was lying in a dilapidated house on a bed the feet of which were standing in bowls of water in order to prevent the ants from crawling on to him. On one occasion his disciples desired to remove the bed and then clear the things out of the house, but he said to them, My children, first clear out the things [from the house] and then remove my bed for I am confident that so long as I am in the house it will not collapse. They first cleared out the things and then they removed his bed and the house [immediately] collapsed. Thereupon his disciples said to him, Master, since you are wholly righteous, why has all this befallen you? and he replied, I have brought it all upon myself. Once I was journeying on the road and was making for the house of my father-in-law and I had with me three donkeys, one laden with food, one with drink and one with all kinds of dainties, when a poor man met me and stopped me on the road and said to me, Master, give me something to eat. I replied to him, Wait until I have unloaded something from the donkey; I had hardly managed to unload something from the donkey when the man died [from hunger]. I then went and laid myself on him and exclaimed, May my eyes which had no pity upon your eyes become blind, may my hands which had no pity upon your hands be cut off, may my legs which had no pity upon your legs be amputated, and my mind was not at rest until I added, may my whole body be covered with boils. Thereupon his pupils exclaimed, ‘Alas! that we see you in such a sore plight’. To this he replied, ‘Woe would it be to me did you not see me in such a sore plight’ [cf. BT Shabbat 33b: (Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai said:) If you did not see me in such a state you would not find me thus (learned)]. Why was he called Naḥum of Gamzu?—Because whatever befell him he would declare, גַם זוֹ לְטוֹבַה [gam zo le-tovah] This also is for good.

Once the Jews desired to send to the Emperor a gift and after discussing who should go they decided that Naḥum of Gamzu should go because he had experienced many miracles. They sent with him a bagfull of precious stones and pearls. He went and spent the night in a certain inn and during the night the people in the inn arose and emptied the bag and filled it up with earth. When he discovered this next morning he exclaimed, This also is for the good. When he arrived at his destination and they undid his bag they found that it was full of earth. The king thereupon desired to put them to death saying, The Jews are mocking me. Naḥum then exclaimed, This also is for good.

Whereupon Elijah appeared in the guise of one of them and remarked, Perhaps this is some of the earth of their father Abraham, and when [he threw] stubble it changed into arrows, for it is written, [Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his feet, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? He gave them as the dust to] his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow [Isaiah 41:2]. Now there was one province which [the emperor had hitherto] not been able to conquer but when they tried some of this earth [against it] they were able to conquer it. Then they took him [Naḥum] to the royal treasury and filled his bag with precious stones and pearls and sent him back with great honour. When on his return journey he again spent the night in the same inn he was asked, What did you take [to the king] that they showed you such great honour? He replied, I brought there what I had taken from here. [The innkeepers] thereupon razed the inn to the ground and took of the earth to the king and they said to him, The earth that was brought to you belonged to us. They tested it and it was not found to be [effective] and the innkeepers were thereupon put to death (BT Ta’anit 21a).

Better a things end than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

“Rabbi Akiva walked down the road of a village. He asked for a place to stay, but none was offered. He said, ‘All that the blessed Holy One does is for good.’ He went and slept in a field in which there was a rooster, wine and a lamp. A wind came and blew out the lamp, a cat came and ate the rooster and a lion came and drank the wine. He said, ‘All that the blessed Holy One does is for good.’ That night an army came and took the town captive. Rabbi Akiva said, ‘Didn’t I tell you that all that the blessed Holy One does is for good!’” (BT Berakhot 60b).

“This is the sin of the primordial serpent: he joined below and it separated above. So he caused what he caused to the world. For one should separate below and join above… one should realize that יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים is entirely one, indivisible. יְהוָה is הָאֱלֹהִים. Once one realizes all is one and does not impose division, even that Other Side will disappear from the world, not be drawn below” (Zohar 1:12b, cf. Guide of the Perplexed 3:10: The true reality of the act of God in its entirety is the good).

Bread of Shame

image“The hater of gifts shall live” (Proverbs 15:27).

“One who eats from his friend’s food is ashamed to look at him” (JT Orlah 1:5, 61b).

“Before souls come to the world, they resemble one who eats the bread of the King without serving Him…. Souls feel ashamed to eat the bread of the King without serving Him, and therefore they yearn to come to the world…. so as to leave that shame; they seek to come to this world, to engage in Torah and mitsvot…. so that they may eat bread without shame” (Rabbi Joseph Karo, Maggid Meisharim, Bereshit, cf. Zohar 2:87a Sava de-Mishpatim: The blessed Holy One says, ‘From the day you were created, for this were you created: to be in that world.’ Once the soul sees this she descends unwillingly and enters there).

“Rabbi Yehudah opened, ‘Is it not to share your bread with the hungry? [Isaiah 58:7]. Come and see: Happy is one’s portion when he encounters a poor person! For a poor person is a gift that the blessed Holy One has sent to him. Happy is the share of one who receives that gift cheerfully!…’ Is it not to share your bread with the hungry? What is פָרֹס [paros] to share? לְמִפְרַס [Le-miphras] to spread, a tablecloth with bread and food to eat. Alternatively, Is it not פָרֹס [parosto share?—as is said: פְּרֵס פְּרִיסַת [Pereis perisat], פְּרֵס [pereis]—has been divided [Daniel 5:28], for one should לְמִפְרַס פְּרִיסִין [le-miphras perisin] break pieces, of bread before him so that he will not feel ashamed, and one should break it before him generously” (Zohar 2:198a).

“I have the following tradition from my grandfather’s family: At all times shall one [rather] hire himself out to עֲבוֹדָה זַרָה [avodah zarah] idol-worship, than be in need [of the help] of [his fellow] creatures. He thought that עֲבוֹדָה זַרָה [avodah zarah] (meant) actual [idol worship], but it is not so, [the meaning being,] ‘work which is strange to him;’ as Rav said to Rabbi Kahana: Flay a carcass in the street and earn a wage, and say not, ‘I am a great man and the work is degrading to me’” (BT Baba Batra 110a).

“Our Rabbis taught: It once happened that a man’s wife died and left behind a nursing child, and the man could not afford to pay a wet-nurse. A miracle happened to him and his breasts opened like a woman’s breasts and he nursed his son. Rabbi Yosef said, ‘Come and see how great was this man, that such a miracle was performed on his account!’ Abayye said to him, ‘Just the opposite: how terrible was this man, that his body was changed!’ Rabbi Yehudah said, ‘Come and see how difficult it is to attain food for a person—so much so that his body was changed!’ Rabbi Naḥman said: Know that miracles do occur, but food is not simply created” (BT Shabbat 53b).

“A person should not embolden himself to say: ‘The blessed Holy One will save me,’ or ‘He will do this for me.’ Rather, he should place his strength in the blessed Holy One, to help him fulfill the commandments of Torah and walk in the way of truth, for as soon as one comes to purify himself, he is certainly assisted [cf. BT Shabbat 104a]. So should one fortify himself in the blessed Holy One – in order that He may help him – holding fast to Him, not placing his strength in another. So, whose strength is in You [Psalms 84:5]” (Zohar 1:142a).

“Happy all who fear YHWH, who walk in His ways. When you eat of the toil of your hands, happy are you, and it is good for you” (Psalms 128:2).

“One who supports himself from his own labor is greater than one who fears Heaven” (BT Berakhot 8a).

If a man deposits produce with his neighbor, even if it is suffering loss, he must not touch it. Rabbi Shimon son of Gamaliel said: He must sell it by order of the court, because it is like returning lost property to its owner [Mishnah]—what is the reason? Said Rabbi Kahana: A man prefers a measure of his own to nine of his neighbor’s” (BT Baba Metsi’a 38a).

“Rabbi Nathan son of Abba further said in the name of Rav: He who is dependent on another’s table, the world is dark to him, for it is said: He wanders for bread—where is it? He knows that the dark day awaits him [Job 15:23]. Rabbi Ḥisda says: Also his life is no life” (BT Beitṣah 32b).

Like a Weaned Babe

originalAnd the manna was like coriander seed and its color like the color of bdellium. The people would go about and gather it and… make it into cakes. And its taste was like the לְשַׁד [leshad] creaminess, of oil. [Numbers 11:7-8]—the taste of it was as the taste of a לְשַׁד [leshad] cake baked with oil. Rabbi Abbuha said: Just as the infant finds very many a flavour in the שָׁד [shad] breast, so also did Israel find many a taste in the manna as long as they were eating it. There are some who say: A שֵׁד [shed] demon; even as the demon changes into many colours, so did the manna change into many tastes” (BT Yoma 75a, cf. Avot de-Rabbi Nathan §37: Two people eat from the same bowl, but each one tastes according to his deeds).

“שְׁנֵי שָׁדַיִךְ [shenei shadaikh] Your two breasts, are two fawns [Song of Songs 4:5]. For in this chamber there is the spirit… [of love], and this living being issued two lights, one included in the other and unified, called, אֵל שַׁדָּי El Shaddai. These two lights are called שַׁדָּי Shaddai, and together with אֵל El, of the chamber below, זְכוּת אֵל Zekhut El, they join each other and intermingle to be called אֵל שַׁדָּי El Shaddai, for they issued from the שָּׁדָיִם [shadaim] breasts.

… Here lies the beginning of Abraham, who is of the right, called אַהֲבָה רַבָּא [Ahavah Rabba] Great Love, as we said. And he received the chamber called אַהֲבָה [Ahavah] Love. Then, Your שָׁדַיִם [shadaimbreasts, were firm [Ezekiel 16:7], and filled with goodness to sustain and nourish all from here. And when the breasts were firm and filled by the רְחִימוּ עִלָּאָה [reḥimu ilaah] supernal love, then this chamber was called אֵל שַׁדָּי El Shaddai, as we said. And by this the world found supply when it was created, because when the world was created, it could not exist, and did not endure, until this chamber was revealed, that Abraham took. When Abraham was seen in this chamber, the world said דַי [dai] enough, for there is supply to sustain and nourish the world. It was therefore called אֵל שַׁדָּי El Shaddai, God in whom there is enough.

The blessed Holy One will fill and repair it in the future, as it is written, That you may nurse, and be satisfied מִשֹּׁד [mishod] from the breasts, of her consolations; that you may drink deeply, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory [Isaiah 66:11]. מִשֹּׁד [mishod] From the breasts, of her consolations and the abundance of her glory are all in this chamber. Then, at that time, it is written, Who would have uttered to Abraham—‘Sarah is הֵינִיקָה [heiniqah] suckling, sons!’ [Genesis 21:7], for יְנִיקָא [yeniqa] sucking, depends upon Abraham” (Zohar Pequdei, Heikhalot).

“But I have calmed and contented myself like a גָּמֻ֖ל [gamul] weaned, babe on its mother—like a weaned babe I am with myself” (Psalms 131:2).


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers