The Nut Garden

לקוטים מזוהר (Gleanings of Zohar)

Tag: Son of Joseph

The Raven and the Dove

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But the discerning shall understand (Daniel 12:10)—Masters of Kabbalah. Of them it says: And the discerning shall shine like the splendor of the sky (ibid., 3)—those that put their effort in the זֹהַר (zohar), splendor, called סֵפֶר הַזֹּהַר (sefer ha-zohar), The Book of Radiance. It is Noah’s Ark to which are gathered two from a city, seven from a kingdom and, occasionally, one from a city and two from a clan (Jeremiah 3:14). By whom comes true: Every son that is born you shall cast him into הַיְאֹרָה (ha-ye’orah), the river (Exodus 1:22). And this is the אוֹרָה (orah), aura, of the book, but everything turns on you [Son—the mystery of Torah; that is born—the concept; הַיְאֹרָה (ha-ye’orah), the river—אוֹר הַתוֹרָה (or ha-torah), the light of Torah; תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ (tashlikhuhu), you shall cast him—תַּשְׂכִּילוּהוּ (taskiluhu), you shall instruct him. Instruct each and every mystery that is conceived by you in the light of Torah and its soul, and this is the light of The Book of Zohar, but everything depends on you (Sullam)].

Who caused this [lack of proper instruction]? The raven, since at that time you [Moses Faithful Shepherd] will be like a dove. There was another messenger named after you, like the raven that was originally sent but did not return from his mission and made his effort with insects who are the ignorant because of their money [cf. BT Pesaḥim 49b]. He did not strive in his mission to cause the righteous to repent and he has not fulfilled the mission of his master [Rav Moshe Cordovero, of blessed memory, wrote that this refers to Jeroboam son of Nevat, who was worthy to be the redeemer of Israel but faltered with the golden calf, sinned, and caused many others to sin (see 1 Kings 11:26–40; 12:28; M Avot 5:22; BT Sanhedrin 101b). He is compared to the raven that betrayed his mission (Sullam)].

The mystery of the יוֹנָה (yonah), dove, that entered the depths of the sea shall come true with you [Moses Faithful Shepherd], and likewise you will enter the deep chasms of Torah. This is what is written by the prophet [יוֹנָה בֶן אֲמִתַּי הַנָּבִיא (Yonah ven Amittai ha-navi), Jonah son of Amittai the prophet (2 Kings 14:23–25)]: You flung me into the deep, in the heart of the sea, and the current came round me (Jonah 2:4). There will be Ḥokhmah, Ḥesed, and Netsaḥ to the right. Of those, David said: The right hand of YHWH does valiantly. The right hand of YHWH is raised. The right hand of YHWH does valiantly (Psalms 118:15). And three from the left, bound as one—Binah, Gevurah, and Hod—and the three rungs in the middle—Keter, Tif’eret, and Yesodtied with right and left.

Since the prophet saw you bound with these three rungs in the middle, he opened with this verse upon you: Behold, My servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high [corresponding to Yesod, Tif’eret, and Keter(Isaiah 52:13). You [Moses Faithful Shepherd] will be unified with two Messiahs. David spoke of the three [rungs] on the right of Messiah Son of David—the right hand of YHWH—three times. Corresponding to the three on the left, to which Messiah Son of Ephraim [the recycled soul of Jeroboam] is tied, he said of one aspect of the left, GevurahI shall not die but live [and recount the deeds of Yah. Yah chastised me but to death did not deliver me] (Psalms 118:17), from the [second] aspect of the left, which is הוֹד דִּילָךְ (hod dilakh), Grandeur is yours. Of this, is said that ‘He gave Hod to Moses’ [see Numbers 27:20: and you (Mosesshall set something מֵהוֹדְךָ (me-hodkha), of your grandeur, upon him (Joshua) in order that all the Israelite community shall heed], meaning that the blessed Holy One gave him Hod to be his own. It is given to you from the side of Binah [cf. Zohar 1:21b; 2:168b–69a].

The Faithful Shepherd rose, kissed him, and blessed him. He said, ‘You are surely the messenger of your master to us.’ The Tannaim and the Amoraim opened, saying: ‘Faithful Shepherd, you knew all this and through you it was revealed [cf. Vayikra Rabbah 22: ‘Scripture, Mishnah, Talmud, Tosefot, Aggada and even that which a venerable student will say before his master, all was said to Moses at Sinai’]. But in your meekness, as is said of you, Now the man Moses was very meek (Numbers 12:3), you are embarrassed to keep your quality [of grandeur] for yourself. The blessed Holy One has elected us, and the Holy Lamp [Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai], to act as your hand and your mouthpiece in these matters” (Zohar 3:153a, Ra’aya Meheimna Beha’alotkha).

First Born Ox

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“I have ox and donkey (Genesis 32:6). Ox—מָשׁוּחַ מִלחָמָה (mashuaḥ milḥamah), Anointed for War, as is said, His first born ox is His glory (Deuteronomy 33:17). Donkey—מֶלֶך הַמָשִׁיחַ (Melekh ha-Mashia), the King Messiah, as is said, He is lowly and rides a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)” (Bereshit Rabbah 75:6, cf. Tanḥuma [Buber] 1:54, 179).

Rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your King is coming to you: He is righteous and victorious. He is lowly and rides on a donkey, on a colt, a young pack animal (Zechariah 9:9).

“The Masters of Mishnah taught: ‘Who is mighty? He who conquers his [evil] impulse’ (M Avot 4:1). And there are those for whom it becomes a חֲמוֹר (ḥamor), donkey, that causes no trouble for its rider, and they are the ones who exert themselves in קַל וָחוֹמֶר (qal va-ḥomer), inference from minor to major. And this is why it is written of Abraham: And saddled his donkey (Genesis 22:3). And this is also why it is said about Messiah: He is lowly and rides on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)” (Zohar 3:237b, Ra’aya Meheimna Pineḥas).

He is lowly and rides on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)—עָנִי (ani), lowly, stands for the Mishnah orders of עֵרוּבִין (eruvin), Mixture [i.e., Sabbath borders], נִדָּה (niddah), Separated [i.e., laws of the menstruate] and יְבָמוֹת (yevamot), Levirates [i.e., laws of marriage between a widow and her brother-in-law]. The rest of the orders of the Mishnah are comprised in these but one is not considered a king until he rides on a horse, which is the Assembly of Israel [cf. Song of Songs 1:9: To my mare among Pharaoh’s chariots I likened you, my friend]….

And when the gulf is open, whoever falls there does not come up. And Messiah the Son of David fell there together with Messiah son of Joseph, of whom one is written: He is lowly and rides on a donkey, and the other is, His first born ox (Deuteronomy 33:17). This is the meaning of: If a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey fall into it (Exodus 21:33). For that reason Messiah is called בַּר נַפְלֵי (bar nafli), Son of the Fallen [see BT Sanhedrin 96b–97a], and She [Shekhinah] fell with them, and of Her it says, Fallen, not to rise again, is Virgin Israel (Amos 5:2). And you [Faithful Shepherd], the owner of the pit shall pay silver, shall make good to its owner, and the carcass shall be his (Exodus 21:34). The dead refers to Messiah son of Joseph who in the future will be slain [… censored passage]. Joseph, His first born ox is His glory (Deuteronomy 33:17), of whom it says, And they… cast him into a pit (Genesis 37:24)—the evil female. And the pit was empty (ibid.)—the male which is empty, without Torah, but instead has snakes and scorpions in it. This is the fourth exile [of Esau] which is a wicked generation, full of snakes and scorpions, scoundrels like snakes and who are עַקְרַבִּֽים (aqrabim), scorpions, since they עָקוּר (aqoor), uproot, the words of the Rabbis and give false sentence. Of them it says: Her adversaries have become the chief (Lamentations 1:5)” (Zohar 3:276b–279b, Ra’aya Meheimna Ki Tetse).

And the land shall mourn, every clan apart; the clan of the house of David apart, and their wives apart (Zechariah 12:12)…. what is the cause of the mourning?—Rabbi Dosa and the Rabbis disagree. One explained, The cause is the slaying of Messiah son of Joseph [in the war of Gog from the land of Magog prior to the ultimate redemption with the coming of Messiah son of David], and the other explained, The cause is the slaying of the evil impulse. It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah son of Joseph, since that well agrees with: And they shall look upon Me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his only son (ibid., 10); but according to him who explains the cause to be the slaying of the evil impulse, is this an occasion for mourning? Is it not rather an occasion for rejoicing? Why then should they weep?—as Rabbi Yehudah expounded: In the time yet to come the blessed Holy One will bring the evil impulse and slay it in the presence of the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous it will have the appearance of a towering hill, and to the wicked it will have the appearance of a hair thread. Both the former and the latter will weep; the righteous will weep saying, ‘How were we able to overcome such a towering hill!’ The wicked also will weep saying, ‘How is it that we were unable to conquer this hair thread!’ And the blessed Holy One will also marvel together with them, as is said, Thus says YHWH of armies; If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, would it also be marvelous in My eyes? says YHWH of armies (ibid. 8:6). 

Rav Assi said, ‘The evil impulse is at first like the thread of a spider, but ultimately becomes like cart ropes, as is said, Woe unto them that draw guilt with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope (Isaiah 5:18).’

Our Rabbis taught, the blessed Holy One will say to the Messiah, Son of David (May he reveal himself speedily in our days), ‘Ask of Me anything, and I will give it to you,’ as is said, Let me tell as is due of YHWH. He said to me: ‘You are My son. I Myself today did beget you. Ask of Me, and I shall give nations as your estate (Psalms 2:7–8). But when he will see that the Messiah son of Joseph is slain, he will say to Him, ‘Master of the World, I ask of You only the gift of life.’ As to life, He would answer him, ‘Your father David has already prophesied this concerning you’, as is said, Life he asked You—You gave him, [length of days for time without end] (Psalms 21:4)” (BT Sukkah 52a).

“And two Messiahs arouse before them. Messiah son of David parallels נֶצַח (Netsaḥ), and is connected with the morning of Abraham [Ḥesed, see Zohar 1:182b on Genesis 22:3] which is: At Your right hand are pleasures for נֶצַח (netsaḥ), evermore (Psalms 16:11). Hod to Gevurah, since to it is attached Messiah Son of Ephraim [synonymous with Messiah son of Joseph]. You [Moses the Faithful Shepherd], are in the middle, and your rung is Tif’eret, for the middle pillar is connected with you, and also Yesod, the Vitality of the Worlds, is on your rung. Ḥokhmah is on the right: ‘Let him who wants to be wise turn south’ (BT Berakhot 30a). Binah is on the left: ‘Let him who wants to be rich turn to the north’ (ibid.)” (Zohar 3:242b, Ra’aya Meheimna Pineḥas).

“And after this a king עַז פָּנִים (‘az panim), brazen faced, will arise for three months, and then the wicked kingdom will rule over Israel for nine months, as it says, Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she who travails has brought forth: [then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel] (Micah 5:2). And there shall sprout up for them Messiah Son of Joseph, and he will bring them up to Jerusalem. He will rebuild the Temple and offer sacrifices; fire shall descend from heaven and consume their sacrifices, as is written, The lawless sons of your people shall be raised up to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble (Daniel 11:14). If they are not worthy, Messiah Son of Ephraim comes [i.e., Messiah Son of Joseph]; but if they are worthy, Messiah Son of David will come.

A wicked king will arise whose name is Armilus: bald, with small eyes and a skin-blanched forehead; his right ear closed up and his left ear open. If a good person should speak to him, he will turn his closed ear toward him, and if a wicked person should speak to him, he will turn his open ear to him. He is the offspring of the שָׂטָן (satan), adversary, and a stone [statue], and he will come up to Jerusalem and incite war with Messiah Son of Ephraim comes [i.e., Messiah Son of Joseph] at the eastern gate, as is written, And they shall look to me whom they have thrust through (Zechariah 12:10)” (Nistarot shel Rabbi Shim’on bar Yoḥai).

“From the right of Abraham, whose rung is Ḥesed, He takes vengeance on Ishmael and his prince, and from the left of Isaac, whose rung is פַּחַד (paḥad), Terror, He takes vengeance on Esau and his appointed prince by means of two Messiahs, one of whom, Messiah son of David, is from the right, while the other, Messiah son of Joseph, is from the left. And the rung of Jacob that corresponds to them, in the mystery of changing his hands (Genesis 48:14)—the lion, to the left, and the ox to the right, to Ishmael. And since Judah was exiled in Esau, it follows that the right of holiness is with the left of Esau, and likewise the left of holiness is with the impure right of Ishmael. Until שִׁילֹה (Shiloh), come (Genesis 49:10) [cf. BT Sanhedrin 98b]—Shiloh, who is [Moses] the Faithful Shepherd [since the numerical value of שִׁילֹה (Shiloh), is equal to מֹשֶׁה (moshe), Moses], whose rung is Tif’eret Israel [the middle pillar]. He will take vengeance from the motley throng. In these three rungs כֹּהֲנִים לְוִיִּם וְיִשְׂרְאֵלִים (kohanimlevi’im, ve-yisraelim), Priests, Levites, and Israelites, will be recalled from the Exile, and with them [His כְּלִי (keli), weapon] He takes vengeance upon Esau, Ishmael, and the motley throng. Just as the motley throng is intermingled with Esau and Ishmael, so Jacob is composed of Abraham and Isaac for he is a mixture of the two of them. So too, Shiloh [Moses the Faithful Shepherd] is intermingled with Messiah son of David and Messiah son of Joseph and he will be the link between the two of them, as at the time that Bilaam saw in his prophecy [see Genesis 49:10]. For thus the two Messiahs are connected with the Faithful Shepherd, like the three patriarchs, in the final exile” (Zohar 3:245a–b, Ra’aya Meheimna Pineḥas).

“Since they brought it on you and did good things for you, you have suffered for their sakes many troubles so that Messiah son of Joseph shall not be killed, of whom it says, the face of an ox on the left side (Ezekiel 1:10), who is a descendant of Joseph, of whom it says, His first born ox is His glory (Deuteronomy 33:17). That is because he and his descendants shall not be violated among the heathen nations because of the sin of Jeroboam who worshipped idols [cf. 1 Kings], for which he and his seed were to be violated among the idol worshiping nations. For Jeroboam the son of Nebat is a descendant of Joseph and it is because of him that it says of you: But he was wounded because of our transgressions… and by his injury we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). And since Israel include right and left where Your ה (he) and י (yod) are in a state of completion, it behooves You to unite with Her between them. Because he [Jeroboam] has brought out an evil name upon a virgin of Israel, it says of her, and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days (Deuteronomy 22:19), in exile he may not be away from her all his days….

But the Masters of Mishnah do not know the Faithful Shepherd [Moses]. Elijah, an oath upon you in the Name of YHWH and in the explicit Name, reveal him to all the heads of the Masters of Mishnah so they will recognize him and he shall no more יִתְחַלֵּל (yitḥalal), be violated, And he מְחוֹלָל (meḥolal), was wounded, for our transgressions, (Isaiah 53:5). You do not have to receive permission because I am a messenger from the Master of the World, and I know that if you do that, the blessed Holy One will thank you for it and your descendants shall be exalted for it above and below. Do not tarry in doing it, neither a week nor a month, nor a year, but do it immediately!” (Zohar 3:277a–283a, Ra’aya Meheimna Ki Tetse).

“What is meant by, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie (Habakkuk 2:3)?What is [For there is yet a vision for the appointed time] וְיָפֵחַ (ve-yafe’aḥ), and a witness, for the end who is not false (Habakkuk 2:3)? Rabbi Shemu’el son of Naḥmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonatan: תִּיפָּח (Tippaḥ), blasted, be the bones of those who calculate the end [cf. Rabbi Hillel Rivlin of Shklov in the name of the Gaon of Vilna, Qol ha-Tor 4:2]. For they would say, since the predetermined time has arrived, and yet he has not come, he will never come. But [even so], wait for him, as is written, Though he tarries, wait for him (ibid.). Should you say, ‘We await [his coming] but He does not [come]’: therefore Scripture says, And therefore YHWH shall wait to grant you grace, and therefore He shall rise to show you mercy, [for a God of justice is YHWH] (Isaiah 30:18). But since we look forward to it, as does He, what delays [his coming]? The quality of Justice delays it [because we are not yet worthy]. But since the quality of Justice delays it, why do we await it? To be rewarded [for hoping], as is written, Happy all who wait for Him (Isaiah 30:18).” (BT Sanhedrin 97b).

Six Hundred Sixty and Six

Hoard_of_ancient_gold_coins“[The Egyptian sorcerers’] wisdom was great, and they observed the hour and examined the rungs and saw that in all aspects, בְּשֵׁשׁ מֹשֶׁה (be-shesh Moshe), Moses was in six: in the first six hours of the day, over which they had no power; in six supernal rungs, linked with him. In all aspects he was in six, and in the crowns of the six he was destined to descend from the mountain, as is written: that Moses, בֹשֵׁשׁ (vo-shesh), lagged—[read instead:] was בְּשֵׁשׁ (be-shesh), in sixin coming down from the mountain (Exodus 32:1)” (Zohar 2:191b).

“When sixty years have passed over the threshold of the sixth millenium, the God of Heaven will begin attending the daughter of Jacob. From then, six more years, totaling seventy-three. In sixty-six, King Messiah will appear in the land of Galilee. One star in the East will swallow seven stars in the North, and a flame of black fire will dangle in the sky for sixty days. Wars will be instigated in the North, in which two kings will fall. All nations will join in battle against the daughter of Jacob, to drive her from the world. Of that time it is written: It is a time of distress for Jacob, but he will be delivered from it (Jeremiah 30:7). Then souls will be depleted from the body and will need to be renewed [cf. BT Yevamot 62a: ‘The son of David will not come until all the souls in the body have been depleted, for it is said: For (his) spirit will be faint before Me (until) I have made (all) souls (Isaiah. 57:16)’]. Your mnemonic: All the souls of the house of Jacob who came to Egypt numbered sixty-six (Genesis 46:26–27)” (Zohar 1:116a–18b).

And the Holy Lamp [Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai] said: All the souls of the house of Jacob… numbered sixty-six (Genesis 46:26–27). Sixty—for the awakening of the first Messiah [Son of Joseph]. Six—for the awakening of the second Messiah [Son of David], and this leaves six years until seventy-two. To establish therein the verse: six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruit (Leviticus 25:3) [alluding to the ingathering of the exiles]. As is said: Israel is holy to YHWH, the first fruits of his increase (Jeremiah 2:3). 

If it is so what is: רָנּוּ (rannu), sing with gladness, for Jacob (Jeremiah 31:6) [רָנּוּ (rannu) being numerically equivalent to 256]? There are to be four redemptions [cf. Exodus 6:6–7: I will take you out… I will rescue you… I will redeem you… I will take you to Me] corresponding to the four cups of wine at Passover since Israel are scattered into four directions of the world, and those who are among the nations that are far away, will be early, in רנ״ו (two hundred and fifty-six). The next group in sixty; the third in sixty-six; and the fourth in seventy-two.

And these redemptions will be with the four living beings [of the Chariot] in the name of יהוה (YHWH), who rides on them, as is written: that You did ride upon Your horses and Your chariots of rescue (Habakkuk 3:8). Opposite them will awaken below four standards and twelve tribes [cf. Numbers 2:2; Bamidbar Rabbah 2:7], in the mystery of: ‘יְהוָה מֶלֶךְ יְהוָה מָלָךְ יְהוָה יִמְלוֹךְ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד (Adonai melekh, Adonai malakh, Adonai yimlokh le-olam va-ed), YHWH reigns, YHWH reigned, YHWH will reign for ever and ever’ (Musaf) [cf. Psalms 96:10, 93:1; Exodus 15:18]. There are twelve letters here [i.e., three iterations of יהוה (YHWH)], corresponding to the twelve tribes, and the twelve faces of the three patriarchs about whom it has been said: The patriarchs are the Chariot. And these ten tribes—one thousand years. The other two tribes—two hundred years, and from the twelve letters are suspended the seventy-two names. And these seventy-two are the years after one thousand and two hundred years [the Zohar implies that these were auspicious times for Israel to repent, and that their redemption was dependent on their repentance (Sullam), cf. BT Sanhedrin 98a] (Zohar 3:252a, Ra’aya Meheimna Pineḥas).