Translated and Adapted by Rav Micha Golshevsky
Published by \u201cYam Hachochmah\u201d Institute
Hashem came to inquire how Avraham was feeling since he was especially weak that day. The pain ofmillah is most pronounced on the third day after the procedure.2R ashi then brings theMedrash which explains that Elonei Mamrei was in the portion of Mamrei, who had advised Avraham to perform themillah. This is why Hashem appeared to Avraham there.3Rashi also mentions theMedrash that explains the reason why the wordyoshev is written without avav. At first, Avraham wished to stand but Hashem ordered him to sit. This was to be a sign for the future\u2014when Avraham\u2019s descendants will preside over a din torah, Hashem stands, as it were, over the judges. As the verse states, \u201cElokim nitzav b\u2019adas E-l\u201d\u2014\u201cG-d stands in the convocation of the powerful\u2026\u201d4 This is the meaning of the verse on the straightforward level, however there is a great deal more for us to examine.
2 Bava Metzia86 b
3 Bereishis Rabbah4 2:8
4 Ibid., 48:7
The Zohar Hakadosh reveals that the seal of the King comprises three colors.5 These are the three visionary paths that a prophet ascends on his journey toward experiencing the, \u201c\u2026pleasantness of Hashem and visiting His palace.\u201d
The first path to prophecy is achieved through sasimu d\u2019eynin, by \u201cclosing the eyes.\u201d This means distancing oneself from being drawn after the material by closing his eyes to chaizu d\u2019hai almah, the lure and luster of this world. Such \u201cclosing\u201d totally nullifies the seeker\u2019s physical self, and the person who is engaged in this brings about a form of yichudah ila\u2019ah, a higher unification. One closes one\u2019s eyes to the material aspects of creation, and sees that the entire fabric of reality is exclusivelyE lok us, pure G- dliness. In one\u2019s thoughts one ascends to supernal worlds with greatdveikus, and while one is in this state of detachment from the physical, one obtains a feeling ofmenuchas
The second path is a combination of the prophet or seeker closing his eyes as in the first path, opening them and gazing at this world, and then closing his eyes again. This means that at first he divests himself from the lowly sight of the material world and connects to supernal worlds and heavenly chambers. Afterward, he must open his eyes and then close them again. This is the way in which he draws the revelation of G-dliness into this world, and this negates the allure of this world. Then the holyShechinah and angels are revealed below, with those who dwell in the lower worlds, as Rav Chaim Vital writes in Shaarei Kedushah.
This is why the prophet or seeker must continually return to the state of nullification and detachment from the lower worlds and strive for renewed connection to the supernal worlds. Each time that he returns to gaze at this world, he can only see the
In this second level of prophecy, one draws the yichudah ila\u2019ah, the upper unification, that is unification brought about by connection to the supernal worlds, into the yichudah tata\u2019ah, the unification of Hashem that is accomplished while gazing at, or interfacing with, the physical world.
The second path is an aspect of aspaklaria d\u2019eino me\u2019irah, a translucent mirror. One who takes this path does not experience the spiritual to the ultimate depth. A prophet who travels the second path has a hazy vision compared to one who ascends to the next level.
In order to achieve this, one must delve very deeply into the self-nullification which causes a yichudah ila\u2019ah by engaging in very deep contemplation ofElokus. A person who achieves this level of Divine contemplation is described in theZohar as one whose, \u201ceyes roll.\u201d One on such a level merits a very great G-dly vision. In comparison with this new level, the experience of the Divine that comes without such intense
speaking, the first level becomes one\u2019s physical power of sight, since this is what one sees when looking at the material world. For one on this level, the entire creation becomes a multifaceted vessel through which he can see Divine luminescence.
too did MosheRabbeinu seeElokus everywhere. This was why he had a completely clear view of the future when prophesying, to an extent unparalleled by any other prophet before or since.
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