Torah 54:6 נ״ד:ו׳
1 א

ו וְזֶה הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה הוּא מְבַקֵּשׁ תָּמִיד כְּלִי לִשְׁכֹּן שָׁם, וְעַל־כֵּן הוּא מַחֲזִיר תָּמִיד לִשְׁרוֹת עַל־פִּי שׁוֹנֵה הֲלָכוֹת. וְעַל־כֵּן, אִם הֵם מְחַדְּשִׁים דָּבָר בַּתּוֹרָה, הוּא חִדּוּשׁ נָאֶה וּמִתְקַבֵּל (בִּלְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכְּנַז: גְּלַייךְ), כִּי הוּא בָּא מִכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, שֶׁהוּא מְדַמֶּה מִלְּתָא לְמִלְּתָא, אַךְ שֶׁהָרַע שֶׁבּוֹ הוּא יוֹתֵר מֵהַטּוֹב.

6. Now this imagination is always in search a repository on which to rest. It therefore constantly attempts to reside in the mouth of those who study Jewish law. If they formulate some new Torah insight, it is an acceptable and credible insight because it comes from the imagination which likens one thing to another. Yet the bad that [the insight] contains surpasses the good.

2 ב

וְאֵלּוּ הַחִדּוּשִׁים מַזִּיקִים לְפַרְנָסָה, כִּי עַל־יְדֵי חִדּוּשֵׁי תּוֹרָה נִבְרָאִים שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (ישעיהו נ״א:ט״ז): וְלֵאמֹר לְצִיּוֹן עַמִּי אָתָּה – אַל תִּקְרֵי עַמִּי אֶלָּא עִמִּי; מָה אֲנָא עֲבַדִי שְׁמַיָּא וְאַרְעָא בְּמִלּוּלִי וְכוּ' (כ"ש בזוהר בהקדמה דף ה). וְעַל־יְדֵי־זֶה בָּאִים כָּל הַהַשְׁפָּעוֹת וְהַבְּרָכוֹת לָעוֹלָם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (דברים כ״ח:י״ב): יִפְתַּח ה' לְךָ אֶת אוֹצָרוֹ הַטּוֹב אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְכוּ'. אַךְ כְּשֶׁהַחִדּוּשִׁים הֵם עַל־יְדֵי כֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, אֲזַי נִבְרָאִין רְקִיעִין דְּשָׁוְא (בזוהר שם), וְעַל יָדָם בָּא רָעָב לָעוֹלָם. וְאַף שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם גַּם כֵּן טוֹב, שֶׁהֵם דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה, שֶׁהֵם בְּחִינַת שֹׂבַע, אַךְ מֵחֲמַת שֶׁהָרַע יוֹתֵר מֵהַטּוֹב, עַל כֵּן הָרַע גּוֹבֵר, וְהַטּוֹב נִתְבַּטֵּל, בִּבְחִינַת: וְלֹא נוֹדַע כִּי בָאוּ אֶל קִרְבֶּנָה (בראשית מ״א:כ״א), שֶׁמִּתְגַּבֵּר, חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, בְּחִינַת שֶׁבַע שְׁנֵי הָרָעָב עַל בְּחִינַת שֶׁבַע שְׁנֵי הַשָּׂבָע, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת הִתְגַּבְּרוּת הָרָע עַל הַטּוֹב, עַד שֶׁאֵין נִכָּר הַטּוֹב מִפְּנֵי הָרָע, בִּבְחִינַת: וְלֹא נוֹדַע וְכוּ' כַּנַּ"ל:

These insights are thus detrimental to earning a living. The reason is that through Torah insights, heaven and earth are created, as it is written (Isaiah 51:16), “and I have declared to Zion: You are My people”—do not read this ami (My people) but imi (with Me), just as I create heaven and earth through My word…. (Zohar, Introduction, p .4b-5a). And through this all influx and blessing comes into the world, as it is written, “God will open for you His good treasury in heaven” (Deuteronomy 28:12). But when the Torah insights stem from the imagination, then “firmaments of futility” are created (Zohar, ibid.), through which famine comes to the world. Although they also contain some good, for they are words of Torah, which are the aspect of contentment, nevertheless since the bad surpasses the good, the bad therefore increases and the good is eliminated, in the aspect of “but there was no way of knowing that they were inside them” (Genesis 41:21). The aspect of the seven years of famine overpower the aspect of the seven years of contentment, God forbid, which corresponds to the bad overpowering the good to the point where the good is no longer recognizable because of the bad, in the aspect of “but there was no way of knowing…,” as explained above.

3 ג

וּמַה שֶׁמְּחַזֵּר הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה לִשְׁרוֹת עַל־פִּי שׁוֹנֵה הֲלָכוֹת, הוּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא נִבְרָא בְּעֶרֶב־שַׁבָּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת, וְקִדֵּשׁ עָלָיו הַיּוֹם, וְלֹא נִבְרָא לוֹ גּוּף, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּזֹּהַר (בראשית דף מז ומח, ובפרשת תרומה דף קנה:) עַל פָּסוּק: אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹקִים לַעֲשׂוֹת, שֶׁמְּבֹאָר שָׁם, שֶׁהַקְּלִפּוֹת שֶׁהֵם בְּחִינַת הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, נִבְרְאוּ בְּעֶרֶב־שַׁבָּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת, וּבְתוֹךְ כָּךְ קִדֵּשׁ עָלָיו הַיּוֹם, וְנִשְׁאֲרוּ רוּחַ בְּלֹא גּוּף וְכוּ' עַיֵּן שָׁם.

Now, the reason the imagination attempts to reside in the mouth of the one who studies Jewish law is that it was created on the eve of Shabbat at dusk, when the sanctity of the day set in and no physical form was created for it. As it is written in the Zohar concerning the verse, “that the Lord created, to make” (Genesis 2:3). There it is explained that the forces of evil, which are the aspect of the imagination, were being created on the eve of Shabbat at dusk when, suddenly, the sanctity of the day set in and they remained disembodied. See there.

4 ד

וְעַל כֵּן זֶה הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת הַקְּלִפּוֹת, שֶׁהוּא רוּחַ בְּלֹא גּוּף, הוּא מְבַקֵּשׁ לְעַצְמוֹ גּוּף לִשְׁרוֹת בּוֹ, וְהוֹלֵךְ אֵצֶל הַשּׁוֹנֵי הֲלָכוֹת, כִּי הֵם בּוֹרְאִים הַכֹּל בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָתָם, עַל כֵּן הוּא הוֹלֵךְ וְשׁוֹרֶה אֶצְלָם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִבְרָא לוֹ גּוּף לְהִתְלַבֵּשׁ בּוֹ עַל יָדָם:

Thus this imagination, which is the aspect of the evil forces, a disembodied spirit, seeks for itself a body in which to reside. It goes to those who study Jewish law, because they create everything through their words of Torah. <And the imagination supposes> that through them a body will be created for it in which to be enclothed. {“Yosef said to Pharaoh, ‘Pharaoh’s dream has a single meaning…. The reason that Pharaoh had the same dream twice is because the process has already been set in motion by the Lord, and the Lord is rushing to do it’” (Genesis 41:25, 32).}

5 ה

וְזֶה שֶׁכָּתוּב (שם בפרשה הנ"ל): וְעַל הִשָּׁנוֹת הַחֲלוֹם, הַיְנוּ מַה שֶּׁהַחֲלוֹם שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת כֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, הִשְׁתַּדְּלוּתוֹ לִשְׁרוֹת עַל הַשּׁוֹנֵה הֲלָכוֹת. כִּי נָכוֹן הַדָּבָר מֵעִם הָאֱלֹהִים, וּמְמַהֵר הָאֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. זֶה בְּחִינַת: אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹקִים לַעֲשׂוֹת הַנַּ"ל, שֶׁהָיָה נָכוֹן הַכֹּל עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת, וְקִדֵּשׁ הַיּוֹם, וּמִהֵר אֱלֹקִים לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ בְּלֹא גּוּף, וּמֵחֲמַת זֶה הוּא מַחֲזִיר תָּמִיד לִשְׁרוֹת עַל הַשּׁוֹנֵה הֲלָכוֹת כַּנַּ"ל:

This is the explanation of what is written, “the same dream twice”—i.e., the reason the dream, which is the aspect of the imagination, endeavors to reside with the one who studies Jewish law is “because the process has already been set in motion by the Lord, and the Lord is rushing to do it.” This corresponds to “that the Lord created, to make,” which was mentioned above. Everything had been set in motion on the eve of Shabbat at dusk, when the sanctity of the day set in, so that the Lord rushed “to make” it without a body. Because of this it always attempts to reside with the one who studies Jewish law, as explained above.

6 ו

וְזֶה: חֲלוֹם פַּרְעֹה אֶחָד הוּא (שם), הַיְנוּ חֲלוֹם פַּרְעֹה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת כֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, כֹּחַ בָּטֵל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (שמות ה׳:ד׳): תַּפְרִיעוּ אֶת הָעָם; הוּא בָּא מֵאֶחָד, הַיְנוּ מֵאַהֲבָה, (כִּי אֶחָד הוּא בְּחִינַת אַהֲבָה, כַּמְבֹאָר בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר). הַיְנוּ מֵאַהֲבָה נְפוּלָה כַּנַּ"ל, בְּחִינַת: נִדְמוּ עַמִּי מִבְּלִי הַדָּעַת, כִּי אַתָּה הַדַּעַת מָאַסְתָּ וְכוּ', כַּנַּ"ל.

And this is the explanation of “Pharaoh’s dream has a single meaning.” In other words, PhaRaOh’s dream, which is the aspect of the imagination, is the power of nullity, as it is written (Exodus 5:4), “taPhRiOo (diverting) the people.” This comes from oneness, from love {because oneness is the aspect of love, as explained elsewhere}—i.e., from fallen love, <for they have the same numerical value>. This corresponds to “My people are nidmu, because they had no knowledge,” because “You have rejected knowledge…,” as explained above.

7 ז

נִמְצָא, עַל־יְדֵי הִסְתַּלְּקוּת הַדַּעַת, שֶׁבָּא עַל־יְדֵי לְשׁוֹן הָרָע, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת: מוֹצִיא דִּבָּה הוּא כְּסִיל, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁנִּסְתַּלֵּק מִמֶּנּוּ הַדַּעַת, עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה נוֹפֵל מֵאַהֲבַת הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ, לָאַהֲבוֹת הַבַּהֲמִיּוֹת, וְאָז מִתְגַּבֵּר עָלָיו כֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, שֶׁהוּא כֹּחַ הַבַּהֲמִיּוּת, וְעַל־יְדֵי הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, נִפְגָּם הַזִּכָּרוֹן וְנוֹפֵל לְשִׁכְחָה:

We see then that with the departure of knowledge that stems from slander—which corresponds to “someone who speaks slander is a fool,” i.e., knowledge departs from him—he thereby falls from the love of God to the love of animality. Then the imagination, which is the power of animality, overpowers him, and because of the imagination the memory is blemished and he succumbs to forgetfulness. {“My people are nidmu (destroyed), because they had no knowledge. You have rejected knowledge, and so I have rejected you from kahein (serving) Me. You forgot the Torah of your God, I will likewise forget your children.”}

8 ח

וְעַתָּה בּוֹא וּרְאֵה, מַה טּוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים עַתָּה קֶשֶׁר כָּל הַמִּקְרָא הַזֶּה: נִדְמוּ עַמִּי וְכוּ' הַנַּ"ל.

So come now and see how good and pleasant is the connection of all [the different parts] of this verse: “My people are destroyed…,” which was mentioned above.

9 ט

וְזֶהוּ: נִדְמוּ עַמִּי מִבְּלִי הַדָּעַת – שֶׁעַל יְדֵי פְּגַם הַדַּעַת, מִתְגַּבֵּר כֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה כַּנַּ"ל.

This is the explanation of “My people are nidmu, because they have no knowledge”—because of a blemish in knowledge, the medameh gains strength, as explained above.

10 י

וְזֶהוּ: כִּי אַתָּה הַדַּעַת מָאַסְתָּ וָאֶמְאָסְךָ מִכַּהֵן לִי – כִּי עַל־יְדֵי פְּגַם הַדַּעַת, נוֹפֵל מֵאַהֲבוֹת דִּקְדֻשָּׁה, שֶׁהֵם בְּחִינַת כֹּהֵן כַּנַּ"ל, וְאָז מִתְגַּבֵּר עָלָיו הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, בְּחִינַת נִדְמוּ עַמִּי וְכוּ' כַּנַּ"ל.

And this is the explanation of “You have rejected knowledge, and so I have rejected you from kahein Me”—because of a blemish in knowledge he falls from loves that are holy, which is the aspect of kohein. Then the medameh, corresponding to “My people nidmu …,” overpowers him, as explained above.

11 יא

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁסִּיֵּם שָׁם בְּפָסוּק זֶה, וַתִּשְׁכַּח תּוֹרַת אֱלֹקֶיךָ – וַתִּשְׁכַּח וַדַּאי, כִּי עַל־יְדֵי פְּגַם הַדַּעַת, שֶׁעַל־יְדֵי־זֶה מִתְגַּבֵּר הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה נִפְגָּם הַזִּכָּרוֹן וּבָא לְשִׁכְחָה כַּנַּ"ל.

This is how the verse there concludes: “You forgot the Torah of your God”—surely “forgot,” for through the blemish of knowledge, because of which the imagination gains strength, the memory is blemished and forgetfulness occurs, as explained above.

12 יב

וְזֶהוּ: אֶשְׁכַּח בָּנֶיךָ גַּם אָנִי – כִּי עַל־יְדֵי שֶׁפּוֹגֵם בַּזִּכָּרוֹן וְנוֹפֵל לְשִׁכְחָה, עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה אֵין לוֹ בֵּן זָכָר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁמּוּבָא לְעֵיל לְעִנְיַן אַבְשָׁלוֹם, שֶׁלֹּא זָכָה לְבֵן זָכָר מֵחֲמַת זֶה שֶׁפָּגַם בַּזִּכָּרוֹן כַּנַּ"ל, וְזֶהוּ: אֶשְׁכַּח בָּנֶיךָ גַּם אָנִי כַּנַּ"ל:

And this is the explanation of “I will likewise forget your children”—for by blemishing the memory and succumbing to forgetfulness, he therefore has no male offspring, as was brought above regarding Avshalom, who did not merit having male offspring because he blemished the memory, as explained above. This is, “I will likewise forget your children.”

13 יג

וְעַל כֵּן גָּזַר פַּרְעֹה עַל הַזְּכָרִים דַּיְקָא, כִּי פַּרְעֹה הוּא בְּחִינַת הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, שֶׁהוּא כֹּחַ בָּטֵל כַּנַּ"ל, שֶׁהוּא מִתְגַּבֵּר עַל הַזִּכָּרוֹן, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת בֵּן זָכָר כַּנַּ"ל. כִּי כֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה כְּשֶׁמִּתְגַּבֵּר, חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, הוּא פּוֹגֵם וּמְבַטֵּל, חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, אֶת הַזִּכָּרוֹן כַּנַּ"ל.

This is why Pharaoh’s decree was specifically against the males, because Pharaoh is the aspect of the imagination, which is the power of nullity. He overpowers the memory, which is the aspect of a male offspring. For when the imagination gains strength, God forbid, it blemishes and nullifies the memory, God forbid, as explained above.

14 יד

וְזֶהוּ, (שמות א׳:כ״ב): וַיְצַו פַּרְעֹה וְכוּ' כָּל הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד הַיְאֹרָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ – הַיְאֹרָה דַּיְקָא, כִּי יְאוֹר מִצְרַיִם זֶה פִּישׁוֹן (כמובא בפירש"י פ' בראשית), הַיְנוּ בְּחִינַת פִּי שׁוֹנֵה הֲלָכוֹת (זוהר בראשית כו: ובתיקון נה), שֶׁשָּׁם שׁוֹרֶה הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה כַּנַּ"ל. הַיְנוּ שֶׁרָצָה לִפְגֹּם הַזִּכָּרוֹן, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת בֵּן זָכָר, עַל יְדֵי הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה, הַשּׁוֹרֶה עַל פִּי שׁוֹנֵה הֲלָכוֹת כַּנַּ"ל:

And this is the explanation of “Then Pharaoh gave orders…. ‘Every boy who is born you shall throw into the river’” (Exodus 1:22). Specifically “the river,” because Egypt’s river is PIShON—i.e., the aspect of PI ShONeh (the mouth of one who studies) Jewish law, which is where the imagination resides. In other words, [Pharaoh] wanted to blemish the memory, which is the aspect of male offspring, by means of the imagination that resides in the mouth of the one who studies Jewish law, as explained above.