Bribing the Other Side
“Come and see: Had [Job] given a portion to all, the Accuser could not have prevailed against him later. Now, you might ask, ‘Why did the blessed Holy One harm him?’ Well, because he caused the light to be covered and concealed, and did not bring another offering, sustaining others—only an ascent offering, rising above. Therefore it is written: This Job did continually (Job 1:5). For if the Other Side had been nourished with a portion, he would have been removed from the Temple and withdrawn, and the side of Holiness would have ascended higher and higher. But he did not want another to be nourished by his offering, so he removed himself from him. How do we know? As is written: and shunning evil (Job 1:1). Therefore he always brought an ascent offering, from which the Other Side never derives pleasure; so everything that he later took was his to take. Thus Job caused foreskin to cover the sealed covenant, from which it did not depart; and consequently the blessed Holy One aroused that Accuser, as is written: Have you noticed My servant Job? (Job 1:8).
Come and see: When the blessed Holy One wished to unite with Israel, the time was not ripe because foreskin covered the light—until that Accuser took what was his from Job. Therefore the blessed Holy One commanded that it be eaten in haste, for that Other Side was engaged with Job, and He commanded them to remove foreskin. Then the blessed Holy One united with Israel, and that Other Side separated from holiness, engaging with Job and taking what was his. Then, It is a passover offering to YHWH (Exodus 12:11). For until now, it was not a passover offering to YHWH. Happy are they who unify their Lord fittingly!…
Come and see: The goat that Israel sends to the dessert is in order to give a portion to that Other Side, with which to be occupied. Now, you might say, ‘Why two goats here—one for YHWH and one for that Other Side? Granted, that goat of the Other Side, but why for YHWH? ‘Well, this may be compared to a king who sat in judgement over his son. He summoned the bailiff, who regularly administers punishment, so that he would prepare to punish his son. That bailiff was glad, and entered the king’s palace to eat there. When his son saw, he said to himself, ‘Surely, this bailiff has come into my father’s palace only because the king is angry with me.’ What did he do? He went and reconciled with him. Once he had done so, the king ordered that the bailiff should not know of it. Afterward, the bailiff entered. The king said to himself, ‘Now if this one knows about the meal that I have prepared for myself and my son, the table will be disrupted.
What did he do? He summoned the butler and told him, ‘Prepare something and place it in front of me and in front of that bailiff, so that he thinks he is dining from my food in my presence, and he won’t know about that precious joyous feast for me and my son; he will take that portion and leave, and withdraw from the joy of our feast.’ If the king had not done so, that bailiff would not have departed from the king’s palace. Therefore the blessed Holy One said, ‘Prepare two goats, one for Me and one for that Denouncer, so that he will think that he is eating from My meal and be unaware of our other joyous feast, and he will take that portion and go on his way and depart from My house” (Zohar 2:181b-185a).
“There is a saying: ‘To the contemptible one in the royal palace—give him a little wine and he will praise you before the king. Otherwise, he will speak evil; and sometimes superiors of the palace convey those words, on account of which the king imposes punishment.’
Rabbi Yitsḥak said, ‘This may be compared to a fool who stands before the king. Give him some wine and then tell him and show him all those deviancies you have committed and all those bad deeds, and he will come and praise you, saying that there is no one in the world like you.
Here, too, the Denouncer is standing constantly before the King. The people of Israel present him this gift, in which is a list of all the bad deeds, all the deviancies, and all the sins that they have committed; and he comes and praises Israel and becomes their Defender. And the blessed Holy One transfers everything onto the head of his people, since it is written For you are heaping live coals on his head, and YHWH will reward you (Proverbs 25:22)” (Zohar 3:101b-102a).
“There is a saying: Throw a bone to a dog and he will lick the dust off your feet; ‘They asked Son of Zoma: Is it permitted to castrate a dog?’ (BT Ḥagigah 14b) [cf. M Avot 4:1; Zohar 2:89a]? He replied, [And anything with crushed or smashed or torn-off or cut-off testes you shall not bring forward to YHWH,] and in your land you shall not do it (Leviticus 22:24). You shall not do it—to anything in your land for as the world needs one thing, it needs another. Therefore, we learned and, look, it was very good (Genesis 1:31) refers to the Angel of Death, that he should not be blotted from the world [see BT Sanhedrin 64a]. The world needs him even though it is written about him Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough (Isaiah 56:11). [It is not good] that they should become extinct from the world. Everything is needed, good and bad. Hence, we need on this day to throw a bone to the dog [cf. Pirqei de-Rabbi Eli’ezer 46: ‘They gave him a bribe on Yom Kippur so that he would not nullify Israel’s sacrifice’]. While he is dragging it, people may enter the palace of the King and no one dares to stop them. Afterwards, he will still be wagging his tail” (Zohar 3:63b, Ra’aya Meheimna Aḥarei Mot).
“Likewise, when a man dies, if he has been meritorious, the image of a lion descends to welcome his נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), life-breath, but if he has not, an image of a כֶּלֶב (kelev), dog, descends, concerning which David said: Save from the sword נַפְשִׁי (nafshi), my life, from the כֶּלֶב (kelev), cur’s, power my person (Psalms 22:21). And since the blessed Holy One desired to save the bodies of Israel from them, and their life-breath too, He commanded that sacrifices be offered of beasts and bodies in their stead. This is according to: If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. [For you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and YHWH shall reward you] (Proverbs 25:21-22). But the blessed Holy One takes nothing except the desire of the heart and remorse of the heart, as it is written: אֱלֹהִים (God’s) sacrifices—a broken רוּחַ (ruaḥ), spirit. A broken, crushed לֵב (lev), heart, God spurns not (Psalms 51:19). They are like earthenware vessels, about which it is said: ‘After they are broken, they become pure’ (BT Shabbat 16a)…
A hungry dog: whoever does not want to be bitten by it gives it meat or bread to eat and water to drink. And the secret of the matter is: If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink (Proverbs 25:21-22). He thereby becomes friendly towards the person, and not only does he not bite him, with a number of tribulations, but becomes an advocate for him and loves him” (Zohar 3:247b, Ra’aya Meheimna Pineḥas).