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“D’ei Chochmah L’Nafshecha”—“Acquire Knowledge for Your Soul…” Shalosh Seudos of Parshas Vayeira 5766

From the Teachings of HaRav, HaGaon HaTzaddik, Rav Yitzchak Meir Morgenstern, shlit”a
Translated and Adapted by Rav Micha Golshevsky Published by “Yam Hachochmah” Institute Jerusalem

“And Hashem appeared before Avraham during the heat of the day, as he was sitting by the entrance of his tent, in Elonei Mamrei.”1 Rashi brings Rabi Chama bar Chaninah who explains the significance of this; Hashem came to inquire how Avraham was feeling since he was especially weak that day. The pain of millah is most pronounced on the third day after the procedure.2 Rashi then brings the Medrash which explains that Elonei Mamrei was in the portion of Mamrei, who had advised Avraham to perform the millah. This is why Hashem appeared to Avraham there.3 Rashi also mentions the Medrash that explains the reason why the word yoshev is written without a vav. At first, Avraham wished to stand but Hashem ordered him to sit. This was to be a sign for the future—when Avraham’s descendants will preside over a din torah, Hashem stands, as it were, over the judges. As the verse states, “Elokim nitzav b’adas E-l”—“G-d stands in the convocation of the powerful…”4 This is the meaning of the verse on the straightforward level, however there is a great deal more for us to examine.

1 2

Bereishis 18:1 Bava Metzia 86b 3 Bereishis Rabbah 42:8 4 Ibid., 48:7

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The Three Paths to Prophecy 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, “…pleasantness of Hashem and visiting His palace.” The first path to prophecy is achieved through sasimu d’eynin, by “closing the eyes.” This means distancing oneself from being drawn after the material by closing his eyes to chaizu d’hai almah, the lure and luster of this world. Such “closing” totally nullifies the seeker’s physical self, and the person who is engaged in this brings about a form of yichudah ila’ah, a higher unification. One closes one’s eyes to the material aspects of creation, and sees that the entire fabric of reality is exclusively Elokus, pure Gdliness. In one’s thoughts one ascends to supernal worlds with great dveikus, and while one is in this state of detachment from the physical, one obtains a feeling of menuchas ahavah, loving tranquility. 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 holy Shechinah and angels are revealed below, with those who dwell in the lower worlds, as Rav Chaim Vital writes in Shaarei Kedushah. Even a person who goes in the second path of prophecy cannot always gaze at the material world and see its supernal character. This world by its very nature is an almah d’pirudah, a world which makes one feel separate and disjoined from revealing the light of Hashem’s presence. 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 Elokus that is truly everywhere for a fleeting moment before the effect of his earlier

5

Zohar Parshas Vayeira 99b

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dveikus needs replenishing. He accomplishes this by again closing his eyes to this world and reconnecting on high. In this second level of prophecy, one draws the yichudah ila’ah, the upper unification, that is unification brought about by connection to the supernal worlds, into the yichudah tata’ah, 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’eino me’irah, 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. The third path is an aspect of an aspaklaria d’me’irah, a transparent mirror. This path is the inversion of the second path; it involves subsuming yichudah tata’ah within yichudah ila’ah, the lower unification within the upper unification. In order to achieve this, one must delve very deeply into the self-nullification which causes a yichudah ila’ah by engaging in very deep contemplation of Elokus. A person who achieves this level of Divine contemplation is described in the Zohar as one whose, “eyes roll.” 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 hisbonenus as seen in the first path is itself a kind of chaizu d’hai almah. Relatively speaking, the first level becomes one’s 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. This is the level of Moshe Rabbeinu, the level of the transparent mirror, the aspaklaria hameirah.6 Just as one sees one’s reflection clearly in a transparent mirror, so too did Moshe Rabbeinu see Elokus 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. The Three Levels as Seen in the Prophecy of Avraham Avinu Before his circumcision, Avraham Avinu was on the first level of prophesy. He saw Elokus when his eyes were closed to the luster of this world and he was connected on
6

Yevamos49b

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high. But this was not always the case when he was engaged with the material world. As it says in the verse, “…fear and a great darkness fell upon him.”7 After his circumcision, Avraham Avinu merited the second path of prophetic vision, the aspaklaria she’eina me’irah that is like a translucent mirror. We can see this in the verse, “And Hashem appeared to him...” However, the fact that Avraham Avinu was ill at the time

demonstrates that this is not the highest level, that his prophecy was not yet truly complete. For the word choleh has a numerical value of 49 (8+6+30+5=49). This signifies the reason for sickness; one who is sick lacks the true completion symbolized by the number 50.8 There are fifty gates to any level (including the 288 nitzotzin, holy sparks, which give one life), and a deficiency in these sparks means that there is a deficiency of spiritual vitality. This is the root cause of illness.9 The three people standing over Avraham, is an allusion to the fact that Avraham had not yet reached completion in the three levels of prophecy discussed earlier, which bring about the perfection of the entire creation. Complete mastery of these three levels is an aspect of Moshe Rabbeinu and brings healing to the entire creation. As the verse says, “Hashem will support him on eres devai—his sick bed.”10 The letters which make up the word eres also spell the word eser, ten. Similarly, the letters of devai are the same components of the letter yud. This illustrates the point made before, that attaining the three levels of prophecy is the way to spiritual perfection and brings true recovery from debilitating maladies in its wake. True healing is achieved by attaining spiritual wholeness, each person according to their level. Wholeness of the individual and of creation as a whole is expressed in the number ten—the world was created with ten acts of Divine speech, there are ten sefiros which parallel the shiur komah, the upright full structure, of the human body. We can see this in the verse that commands the taking of the ma’aser beheimah, the tithe from one’s livestock. “V’ha’asiri, and the tenth one, will be sanctified.”11 It is the tenth which is declared holy and complete. This mitzvah expresses the mystery of the
7 8

Bereishis 15:12 See introduction of Toldos Yaacov Yosef paragraph 1. 9 I believe this appears in the Shaar HaKavanos. It is certainly discussed in the Siddur HaRamchal and the writings of the Arizal.
10 11

Tehillim 41 Vayikra, 27, 9

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revelation of Hashem’s glory in a world where all judgments are sweetened and the hidden spiritual character of the physical world is revealed. When Avaraham Avinu came to the state of yichudah ila’ah, which entails closing one’s eyes against the luster of this world and nullifying oneself to Hashem, the first level, he was in danger of falling into a drumeita, a spiritual sleep. This sleep means a lack of spiritual consciousness. The first level is an aspect of menuchah d’kedushah, holy tranquility, where one accesses spiritual connection mainly by nullifying oneself without focusing on translating the G-dliness experienced into the trials and tribulations of this world. Since it just means connecting to the supernal as much as possible, the danger is that one will forget the Elokus experienced completely and merely experience the transient physicality of this world. This is the significance of verse, “And tardeima, slumber, fell on Avraham, and fear and a great darkness fell upon him.”12 This signified the danger of the first path, the world of spiritual death of the wicked. For they experience no spiritual connection, an aspect of spiritual slumber and stagnation. However, when one reaches the second level, one achieves, “And Hashem appeared to Avraham.”13 This verse alludes to the fact that Avraham drew the revelation of G-dliness which he experienced when connected to Hashem into all that he perceived in this world. He took the yichudah ila’ah, the upper unification, and applied it to this world. In so doing, he made a yichudah tata’ah, a lower unification. On this second level there is no danger of falling into spiritual slumber or unconsciousness. However, Avarham was choleh, sick (=49), which signifies a lack of completion regarding elevating the physical world on his level. His grasp of the spiritual in this world had not yet reached shleimus, completion. Since a person on the second level cannot truly reveal kavod shomayim through all that he experiences, he is still considered to be in spiritual exile. One leaves exile when one achieves the fiftieth level of elevating this world, which is an aspect of Moshe Rabbeinu. This is the ultimate rectification. One closes one’s eyes from the luster of this world so powerfully that all of one’s physical experiences are on the first level. One sees

12 13

Bereishis 15:12 Ibid., 18:1

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the first aspect of prophecy in their physical object or experience. The yichudah tata’ah becomes an aspect of yichudah ila’ah. This is the ultimate purpose of creation, as the verse states: “I shall emulate the Supernal.”14 This means that one sees exclusively the spiritual even in the physical world.

Kayin and Hevel: The Mystery of Rachel and Leah The Medrash writes that when Kayin was born, a twin girl was born with him. But Hevel was born with two twin sisters.15 This signifies the brothers’ respective spiritual identities, and it alludes to the mystery of Rachel and Leah. Kayin worked the land, as we see from the verse, “And Kayin worked the land.”16 Since agriculture can only be accomplished with great toil, it signifies gevuros, spiritual might, which was Kayin’s unique avodah. Hevel had a different spiritual mission. His job was to reveal the avodah which includes both chassadim and gevuros, both spiritual kindness and might. It was for this reason that he was a shepherd. [For example, shepherding animals can be a very passive task, in this sense it is an aspect of kindness. At other times, such as when the shepherd must defend his flock from a predator, it requires the might of gevuros.] Hevel’s two twin sisters signified chassadim and gevuros, Hillel and Shamai respectively, and the source for both was in the level of Chochmah. This mission is an aspect of “Rachel” in the Kabbalistic sense, while Kayin’s mission was an aspect of “Leah,” or Binah.17 This means that the avodah of Hevel was to do yichudim and engage in dveikus and building his emunah in Hashem, all aspects of Chochmah. However, it is known that Kayin took Hevel’s twin for himself.18 This is the deeper message of the verse, “...‫,אי‬ where, is your brother Hevel?”19 Kayin took the light of Shamai for himself—the name comprises two words: shem (shin mem) and ai (alef yud).
14 15

Yeshayahu 14:14 Bereishis Rabbah 22 16 Bereishis 4:2 17 Shaar Hagilgulim, Hakdamah 36; Biurei Aggados of the Vilna Gaon, Megillah 6b 18 Shaar Hakavanos, Drushei Tefillas Hashachar 3 19 Bereishis 4:9

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The word shem is equal to 340, and it itself is made up of 4 x 72, four times the value of chessed, which has its source in the level of Chochmah, permutated through all four worlds of Atzilus, Beriyah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah. If one adds 52, the value of the permutation of Hashem’s Name that represents Malchus. What is this permutation and how does it represent Malchus? The letters are spelled out fully, which means that two of them are simply doubled: yud is spelled yud-vav-dales, but hei is spelled hei-hei, and vav is spelled vav-vav. Malchus is the revelation of Hashem’s Kingship in this world. This can only be done by yearning to reveal Elokus in this world—the final three letters of the Name. Soon we will explain the significance of combining Malchus and Chochmah more clearly.20 Yud-aleph has a numerical value of 11, which represents all eleven elements of the ketores, the holy gevuros through which one can transform bad to good, as is well known.21 Because Kayin commandeered the Gevurah aspect of Hevel, Hevel could only make yichudim on the first level of prophecy which is an aspect of holy tranquility. Because of this he fell into a drumita, spiritual unconsciousness. In his case, this sleep was not only an aspect of spiritual death but was physical as well. He was in too much of a state of bitul, of self-nullification. This is one way to understand the words of Rabbeinu Bachaya who writes that Hevel died as punishment for gazing at the Shechinah beyond what he could grasp.22 Kayin thought that all aspects of gevuros are his avodah alone, since his shoresh, spiritual root, is in binah, which is an aspect of Leah. Dinim are rooted in Binah which is holy discernment, the holy source of all strict justice. Its purpose is to reject that which is bad and to strengthen that which is good. For this reason, he thought that the gevuros related only to his aspect, while his brother, who was an aspect of Rachel or Chochmah, should really have nothing to do with gevuros. Kayin assumed that since Chochmah is completely subsumed in G-dliness, and has no connection to anything to do with gevuros, so too would Hevel not need to have any connection to holy might.

20 21

Pri Eitz Chaim, Shaar Krias Shema 9 See Shaar Hakavanos, Ibid. 22 Commentary of Rabbeinu Bachaya to Shemos 3:6

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Now we understand why Kayin took Hevel’s second twin, who was an aspect of Gevurah. This caused Hevel’s death, since he could only travel the first path of prophecy directly into a permanent state of self-nullification.

The Prophecy of Avraham Avinu and the Aspects of Kayin and Hevel This same sort of removal of the gevuros and the subsequent drumita, spiritual slumber, was experienced by Avraham where our parsha tells that, “Fear and a great darkness fell upon him.” The rectification of this is when, “Three people are standing over him,” for they predicted the birth of Yitzchak whose source is in the sefirah of Gevurah, which is from the spiritual side related to the feminine aspect. This is the meaning of what Hashem said to him, “Sit and I will stand,” since this is the main avodah of Avraham. He is an aspect of menuchas ahavah, a loving tranquility in the light of Hashem which is an aspect of bitul, self nullification, a holy delight. This is attained through self-nullification and passivity, symbolized by “sitting” passively, since one experiences only Hashem to attain such a level. The avodah of Avraham is Chochmah which includes Malchus—this is Midas HaDin, an aspect of judgment, since Malchus has nothing of itself. Through avodah in the way of Chohmah with Malchus, Avraham eventually arrives at the place where three people are standing over him. This alludes to his coming closer to achieving the three levels of prophecy mentioned above. One must merge the aspect of Z”A (Ze’ir Anpin) which is an aspect of standing, with the aspect of Malchus, an aspect of sitting. In order to enter any level of holiness, one must enter through the emanation of Malchus. This is the esoteric meaning of the verse, “B’zos, with this, will Aharon enter the Kodesh.”23 Malchus, the feminine attribute, is called Zos, so the only way to enter into any holiness is to pass through Midas HaDin. [Note: This also means that in order to come to a real level of holiness one must be able to overcome whatever challenges one encounters. And especially one must not give up on account of the difficulties which Midas HaDin places in one’s way.]

23

Vayikra 16:3

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This means that one must have a blend of the levels of opening one’s eyes to this world because they always see Elokus in everything physical, and closing one’s eyes to the luster of this world, for due to their deep contemplation of Elokus, they are enabled to gaze upon this world and see the G-dly character of everything material. This is the symbolism of Hashem standing over the judges while they sit; that the two levels are completely merged. They are merged in the engagement with the Midas HaDin—the attribute of judgment.

Yitzchak Avinu and the Gevuros This was the main work of Yitzhak Avinu, to revel this secret in the world. Yitzchak was bound to the altar by his father Avraham when he was 37 years old.24 Thirty-seven is the numerical value of Hevel’s name, since Yitzchak revealed the avodah of Hevel, which was to combine the yichudim of Chochmah and Gevurah sourced in Binah. The mitzvah of milah is an aspect of Binah since the message of milah is in essence that it is not enough to be in an aspect of menuchah muchletes, absolute tranquility. This is because one who exists in a state of pure tranquility, which comes through closing one’s eyes to the luster of this world, is considered ill, as we have already made clear. He requires a change that is brought about actively, through the activation of gevuros. For even if one is a tzaddik who has achieved the first level of prophecy and is connected with Elokus when his eyes are “closed,” even if he had reached the level of Atzilus, he is still considered spiritually incomplete or ill. When this tzaddik is in the three lower worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah he usually cannot reveal Elokus and these worlds still seem to proclaim separation from Hashem, chas v’shalom. It is only when this tzaddik is in a state of dveiku within Atzilus that he feels that everything is Elokus. Even such a tzaddik, who is himself at times in Atzilus, is also sick until he can draw the Elokus into the worlds that seem to proclaim separation, especially this lowly world. For this reason, Avraham bound Yitzchak to be sacrificed when he became 37 years old. This binding of Yitzchak, symbolized the joining of the way of Avraham to the
24

Breishis Rabbah, 56

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path of Yitschak. The path of Avraham is to come to great dveikus through yichudim, so the significance of binding Yitzchak was to bind or join his way with the way of Yitzchak who served Hashem with might and strength. This mystery, that Yitzchak was an aspect of Hevel at the akeidah, is actually indicated in the verse where Avraham tells Yitzchak that Hashem will show them the lamb for an olah sacrifice. Avraham uses the words, “Haseh L’olah B’ni.” The first letters of the phrase spell Hevel, because at that moment Yitzchak was an aspect of Hevel, who was really an expression of the levels of Rachel / Chochmah, and Leah / Binah.25 In this way, the akeidah rectified the blemish of Kayin, who took the holy gevuros from Hevel. It restored the creation back to where it should be, a blend of the aspect of Shamai and Hillel. It is important to note that the halacha follows Beis Hillel, since the main emphasis of one’s avodah should be Chochmah. Meaning, we serve Hashem with holy tranquility that comes to one who cleaves to the light of Hashem. However this must be bound together with the power and might of holiness which was the avodah of Beis Shamai.

The Three Levels and Three Sinning Generations The three aspects of prophecy correct the blemish of the generation of the flood, the builders of the Tower of Bavel, and the people of Sodom. One who enters the first level of the tranquil love experienced by he who cleaves to the light of Chochmah rectifies the sin of the generation of the flood. This is because they blemished the spiritual aspect of water which is rooted in Chochmah, as it says, “Mayim al haaretz.”26 So the tikkun is that one sees the entire world submerged in water. This signifies the fact that the entire creation is filled with Chochmah, which is spiritual water. This is how one nullifies the guilty waters of this world. This aspect of the flood exists even in our day, and it can be rectified by internalizing and experiencing the fact that really everything is the light of Hashem.

25 26

Shaar Hgilgulim, Hakdamah 37; Shaar Hapesukim, Yisro 19 Zohar Hakadosh, I:62b

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One who ascends to the second level of prophecy, which is the level of being able not only to close one’s eyes to the glitter of this world but also to open one’s eyes to the material reality of this world and make a lower unification as well is the rectification for the generation that built the Tower of Bavel. That generation was comprised of many people who all had the same basic goal, to separate Hashem and G-dliness from the physical world by making a name for themselves. This meant nullifying the Name of Hashem, as we see in the Nefesh HaChayim. There, Rav Chayim of Volozhin zt”l explains that Hashem’s name indicates how He relates to the physical world. By making a name for themselves they were essentially trying to deny the fact that Elokus is everywhere. Their rectification is to reveal the G-dly character of this world. By being able to open one’s eyes in the material world and see only Elokus, one nullifies the dor haflagah and the adherents to this philosophy even today. However, every element of the blemish of this generation must be rectified by focusing on doing the opposite of their every move towards establishing separation from Elokus in creation. They wanted to live together and be in touch with one another. For this purpose, they wished to build a city and a tower that would consolidate their strength. So we do the opposite and reveal the Oneness of Hashem even in the obvious profusion of diversity that exists in the world. This is also the rectification of Sodom. In the end, Avraham did achieve the blending of both ways since even in wicked Sodom he saw G-dliness. This is the meaning behind his search for tzaddikim even in that nest of iniquity. Ten represent a complete structure of holiness; this is why ten men make a minyan, and why there are ten sefiros. This is the third level of prophecy which Avraham reached. This is why he saw Elokus even in Sodom. He had such a strong contemplation of Elokus that everywhere he looked he only saw G-dliness—even in Sodom which was imbued with the ultimate luster of the material. We see this from the fact that they valued the material even over saving human lives! But Avraham revealed the light of Hashem even in the lowest place. This is a level of Kesser which is the place of the aspaklaria hame’irah, where the experience of the Divine is like an image that is clear as that presented by a shining mirror. Kesser is

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one of the highest levels of the emanations of Hashem that can be discussed. In the place of Atik or Arich, which are the higher sefiros of Kesser and Malchus of Keser, one is so high that he is in a place where there is no good or bad, no right or left, because one who reaches this level sees that everything is Elokus even if it seems very evil indeed. When a person is truly connected to the higher spheres, where the light of Hashem shines so powerfully that everything is really connected to the One, even Sodom, the ultimate level of seeming separation from Elokus, can be rectified. The truth is that this is the ultimate rectification, when the most heinous bad is rectified and becomes good. This was the avodah of Yosef Hatzaddik, to reveal G-dliness in the most hidden dark places, even in Egypt which was so promiscuous it was called the ervah of the earth. Yosef revealed Hashem, because he himself was so davuk, connected to Hashem. Even when he was the second to the king and in charge of the storehouses, he was always completely connected to Hashem. This was in the merit of his having achieved an aspect of the level of Moshe Rabbeinu, who was always connected to Hashem with great might and strength with a perpetual feeling of complete cleaving to Hashem, yet always within the tranquility of the luminescence of Hashem, the light of Chochmah.

The Tzaddik and the Baal Teshuvah This is the meaning of Rashi on the verse, “And he (Avraham) sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day”—“To see if there was anyone over v’shav, passing or returning, so as to bring them into his home.” He said to his guests, “Take a little water and wash your feet and rest under the tree. The Maggid of Koznitz, zt”l, explained, that the words “over v’shav” in Rashi, mean sinners who went up to the tent of Avraham to return in teshuvah. The Zohar Hakadosh, states that when a person wishes to do teshuvah, or comes to a tzaddik so that he should be aroused to do teshuvah, immediately all the accusers that were created by all the sins the person did are aroused and start protesting. But Hashem tells these accusers to “rest under the tree.” In truth, no Jewish soul really falls to sin because he really wants to do evil. Quite the contrary, the nature of a Jewish soul is to search and look for the G-dly menuchah,

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tranquility, discussed here at length. Unfortunately, instead of this connection to Elokus, people often fall to tardeimah, unconsciousness, instead of spiritual menuchah. An aspect of the “fear and great darkness” that falling into sin produces. And it all happens because one wants pleasure for himself. So the tikkun is to sit beneath the tree. That is, to enter into the illumination of the Torah, which is called a tree, and close one’s eyes to the glitter of this material world. There, one can take pleasure in the dveikus in Hashem by focusing on a deep inspiring concept or the simple fact that everything is Elokus, or from the light of yichudim. When one sincerely wants to change and starts to shut the sheen of the material out of their eyes by focusing on Hashem in one of the ways we’ve mentioned, the accusers start accusing. It is then that one must learn to enter into the level of judges, who sit while Hashem stands over them as it were. This means using strength to internalize the connection so much that one sees Elokus in everything material. So it’s not enough to merely enjoy the closeness of the waters of tranquility of the ocean of Torah as Avarham did before his milah. One must learn to open one’s eyes and do the work of the holy gevuros, of Malchus, which is an aspect of milah. One must open one’s eyes and see this world with its true essence, the Elokus that gives it life. However, one may not gaze at this world even with this intention for too long without reconnecting to one’s Source. This lesson can be learned from Avraham’s offer, “Take a little water.” We gaze at the light of Chochmah and then we immediately wash off our feet by using the gevuros of Malchus which is an aspect of milah, to find the G-dly identity of the entire creation. The reason why washing off one’s feet signifies milah is because Yesod or foundation is called the feet.27 Obviously the area of purity is an area fraught with challenges that we must rise to meet. It is certainly appropriate to call yesod an aspect of overcoming what seems grossly physical in order to see Elokus. One who follows this method can merit a reflection of the levels of prophecy and to connect to Hashem in a balanced way. Through this method, one can enter to the light of unification with Hashem either by nullifying oneself to Him (yichudah Ila’ah) or by seeing Hashem in the physical (yichudah tata’ah).
27

Shaar Ma’amarei Razal, Ma’amar Psiosav Shel Avraham Avinu

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Completing the Rectification of Hevel This is the esoteric meaning of Avraham’s rescue of Lot from the upheaval of Sodom. This rescue allowed the neshamos of Amon and Moav to emerge, whose descendants were Na’amah the Amonite and Ruth the Moavite. Naamah was an aspect of Leah / Binah¸ while Ruth was an aspect of Rachel / Chochmah.28 When any Jew recites Shema Yisrael, he is essentially removing himself from the glitter and allure of the material world. Through the words, one enters a state of complete divestiture from the physical world, a state of complete spiritual tranquility which comes from knowing that everything is Elokus and that Hashem is the One and Only in the heavens and on the earth. There is no other. Subsequently, the kelipah of Na’amah, an aspect of Leah / Binah / gevuros, is aroused and must be subdued by the Name “Ha’E-l” in the blessing of Avos in Shemonah Esrei. “Ha’E-l” contains the same letters as the name “Leah,” and this Name subdues the kelipos whose source is in Leah by activating the holy gevuros of Leah. Subsequently, we arrive at the words “V’koneh Hakol” of the same blessing in Shemonah Esrei. The word v’koneh includes the same letters as ”v’nakeh” of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. When we say this word, cleanse ourselves and completely purify ourselves before Hashem. This cleansing is accomplished when we receive the mentalities, the mochin of Abbah / Chochmah and Immah / Binah together, as is explained in the kavanos hatefillah. Receiving the mentality of Chochmah signifies entering into a state of bitul, and this brings a person to experience the complete tranquility of true connection to Hashem. This rectifies the light of Rachel, which is the very same light as Dovid Hamelech who was anointed at the Tomb of Rachel in Beis Lechem. The avodah of Dovid Hamelech included both the aspects of Rachel and the aspect of Leah, as we see from the fact that the descendant of Yehudah the son of Leah was anointed at the tomb of Rachel. Thus the Arizal explains that when one says, “V’koneh hakol,” one first rectifies the aspect of Rachel and through it is the aspect of Leah then rectified.
28

Likutei Torah, Vayeira, Inyan Bnos Lot

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The truth is that Hevel should have brought the world to the ultimate rectification, but the tikkun only really began with Moshe Rabbeinu whose soul was rooted in Hevel’s.29 The rectification was completed by Dovid Hamelech who incorporated both the avodah of Rachel and the avodah of Leah.30 Dovid Hamelech merited to complete the rectification of Hevel by making very elevated yichudim. He entered the aspect of complete tranquility of bitul, and he was able to do it by force—even when it was very difficult to do so. Through this ability, he merited to see Elokus in everything. Through it, he received the third level of prophecy which is an aspect of Moshe Rabbeinu’s clear vision, the aspaklaria hame’irah. This forcing one’s way into true connection to Hashem even when it feels that the obstacles are insurmountable is the way in which we can bring the concept of “v’koneh hakol” to life in our service of G-d. V’kohen includes the same letters as v’nakeh, this idea of cleansing and purifying ourselves along with all of creation. All the while that the creation doesn’t reveal Elokus, that it obscured G-dliness, it is in a state of illness. Each person who sees Elokus does his part toward healing all of creation a little more. This is done by connecting to Hashem on a deep level, until Hashem illuminates our eyes and comes to be “Mevaker cholim,” until He comes to release us from our spiritual sickness. As the verse states, “Hashem yisadenu al eres devai”—“Hashem will support him on his bed of travail.”31 Eres, the word in the verse for bed, is a re-arrangement of the word eser, ten. This is meant to teach us that Hashem removes us from eres, the sick bed, to uplift us to the eser, the ten aspects of holiness that were portioned out to the world.32

Bikur Cholim and the Redemption Everyone knows that we must fulfill the mitzvah of “Shivisi Hashem linegdi samid,” of keeping Hashem at the forefront of our consciousness. We need to cleave to holy thoughts while learning and praying since this is the desire of our Creator, and the ultimate desire of every Jew is to do the will of the Creator. In our innermost being, we are all filed with yearning to cleave constantly to the Creator.
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Shaar Hagilgulim, Hakdama 34 Eitz Chaim, Shaar 38, chapter 1 31 Tehillim 41 32 Keilim 1:6

‫בס"ד‬

In the very first subsection of Shulchan Aruch, the Ramah writes: “This is a great general principle in Torah and is a defining characteristic of the righteous who go before Hashem.” The holy Baal Shem Tov said that making yichudim is an avodah in which everyone should engage. Doing so will bring one to fulfill the first subsection of Shulchan Aruch. In this merit, we will be removed form our long exile.33 Unfortunately, we are still far from being redeemed since we have not been following the path of healing of all spiritual sickness—the main cause of the exile. The redemption will come, however, when we are able to see the light of Hashem within every aspect of creation, in every movement of any limb, and in all inner movements. All are one, since they have one Source—Hashem. Hashem is waiting to visit those who are spiritually sick. And He does come to “visit” us when we follow the path of avodas hadeveikus with every aspect of our being when fulfilling reciting Shema Yisrael. We must strengthen ourselves and contemplate the greatness of Hashem very much, in the spirit of menuchas ahavah. And this menuchas ahavah can be felt by even the most distant soul, when he considers the love that Hashem demonstrates by visiting even the most distant and ill as long as He is sought. When one cleaves to Hashem with holy fervor and recharges this closeness by self-nullification through holy tranquility, one can be connected to his Creator all day, every day. Even while eating and drinking one must learn to connect to Hashem, either by seeing Elokus or by feeling the menchas ahavah d’kedushah, the holy tranquility that stems of our love of Hashem and His love of us. This will fill us with love for Hashem so that we will automatically fulfill the words of the Rambam: “What does it mean to love Hashem? That one love Him with such a great and powerful love until one’s entire self is completely bound in that love so that one is always preoccupied with it…”34

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See letter at the end of Poras Yosef. Hilchos Teshuvah 10:5

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