Torah 54:7 נ״ד:ז׳
1 א

וּלְהַכְנִיעַ הַכֹּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה הוּא עַל־יְדֵי בְּחִינַת יָד, בְּחִינַת (הושע יב): בְּיַד הַנְּבִיאִים אֲדַמֶּה. וְיָד הַיְנוּ בְּחִינַת שִׂמְחָה, בְּחִינַת (דברים יב): וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם בְּכָל מִשְׁלַח יֶדְכֶם. וְזֶה בְּחִינַת כְּלֵי זֶמֶר שֶׁמְּנַגְּנִין בַּיָּד, שֶׁעַל־יְדֵי־זֶה שׁוֹרָה הַנְּבוּאָה עַל הַנְּבִיאִים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (מלכים־ב ג): קְחוּ לִי מְנַגֵּן וְכוּ'.

7. Now, the way to subdue the imagination is through the aspect of the hand, corresponding to “by the hand of the prophets I have been imagined” (Hosea 12:11). And “hand” is the aspect of joy, corresponding to “and you shall rejoice in all the effort of your hand” (Deuteronomy 12:7). This is also the aspect of musical instruments that are played with the hand, by means of which prophecy would come to rest upon the prophets, as it is written, “get me a musician…” (2 Kings 3:15) .

2 ב

כִּי הַכְּלִי הוּא הִתְאַסְּפוּת הָרוּחַ, וְהוּא מְעֹרָב טוֹב וָרַע. כִּי יֵשׁ עַצְבוּת רוּחַ, רוּחַ נְכֵאָה, רוּחַ רָעָה, כַּנֶּאֱמָר בְּשָׁאוּל (שמואל־א טז): וּבִעֲתַתּוּ רוּחַ רָעָה. וְיֵשׁ רוּחַ טוֹבָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (תהלים קמג): רוּחֲךָ טוֹבָה תַּנְחֵינִי בְּאֶרֶץ מִישׁוֹר; וְהוּא בְּחִינַת רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, רוּחַ־הַקֹּדֶשׁ.

For an instrument is a gathering of the ruach, which is a mixture of good and evil. There is a ruach of depression, a gloomy ruach, a ruach of evil, as it is said of Shaul, “an evil ruach began to terrify him” (1 Samuel 16:14). There is also a good ruach, as it is written, “Let Your good ruach guide me on level ground” (Psalms 143:10). This is the aspect of the ruach of prophecy, Divine ruach .

3 ג

אַךְ כְּשֶׁהוּא מְעֹרָב טוֹב וָרַע, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְקַבֵּל נְבוּאוֹת אֱמֶת. וְעַל כֵּן כָּתוּב בְּשָׁאוּל (שמואל־א יא): וַיִּתְנַבֵּא וְכוּ' וַיִּפֹּל עָרֹם, וּפֵרֵשׁ רַשִׁ"י: לְשׁוֹן מְשֻׁגָּע; כִּי הָיָה מְעֹרָב בְּרוּחַ שְׁטוּת, עַצְבוּת רוּחַ.

But when a person is a mixture of good and evil, he cannot receive truthful prophecies. Thus it is written of Shaul (1 Samuel 19:24), “he began to prophesy… and he lay arom (naked).” Rashi explains that this connotes madness, because he had been infused with a ruach of folly, a ruach of depression. {“Let our lord order the courtiers attending you to look for someone skilled at playing… his hand will play, and it will be good for you” (1 Samuel 16:16).}

4 ד

וְזֶה שֶׁמְּנַגֵּן בַּיָּד עַל הַכְּלִי, הוּא מְקַבֵּץ וּמְלַקֵּט בַּיָּד אֶת הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה, רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, מִתּוֹךְ עַצְבוּת רוּחַ. וְצָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת יוֹדֵעַ נַגֵּן, שֶׁיֵּדַע לְקַבֵּץ וְלִלְקֹט וְלִמְצֹא חֶלְקֵי הָרוּחַ אַחַת לְאֶחָת, כְּדֵי לִבְנוֹת הַנִּגּוּן, הַיְנוּ הַשִּׂמְחָה, הַיְנוּ לִבְנוֹת הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה, רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, שֶׁהוּא הֶפֶךְ עַצְבוּת רוּחַ. כִּי צָרִיךְ לַעֲלוֹת וְלֵירֵד בְּיָדוֹ עַל הַכְּלִי שֶׁמְּנַגֵּן, כְּדֵי לְכַוֵּן לִבְנוֹת הַשִּׂמְחָה בִּשְׁלֵימוּת.

The person whose hand plays an instrument collects and gathers up with his hand the good ruach, the ruach of prophecy, from within the ruach of depression. Thus he must be “skilled at playing,” knowing how to collect and gather and find the components of the ruach one by one, in order to build the tune, the joy—i.e., to build the good ruach, the ruach of prophecy, which is the opposite of a ruach of depression. For he has to raise and lower his hand on the instrument he is playing in order to direct the buildup of the joy to perfection.

5 ה

וּכְשֶׁהַנָּבִיא שׁוֹמֵעַ זֶה הַנִּגּוּן מֵהַיּוֹדֵעַ נַגֵּן, אֲזַי מְקַבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, שֶׁקִּבֵּץ זֶה בְּיָדוֹ מִתּוֹךְ הָעַצְבוּת רוּחַ. וְזֶה: וְנִגֵּן בְּיָדוֹ וְטוֹב לָךְ (שם בשמואל־א יט) – וְטוֹב לָךְ דַּיְקָא, שֶׁמְּלַקֵּט וּמְצָרֵף הַטּוֹב מִתּוֹךְ הָרָע.

Thus, when the prophet hears this music from one who is “skilled at playing,” he receives from him the ruach of prophecy which [the musician] gathered with his hand from within the ruach of depression. This is the explanation of “his hand will play, and it will be good for you”—specifically “it will be good for you,” because he gathers and refines the good from within the evil.

6 ו

וְעִקַּר הִתְקַבְּצוּת וּבִנְיַן הָרוּחַ נְבוּאָה הוּא עַל־יְדֵי הַיָּד, כִּי שָׁם פִּקְדוֹנוֹת הָרוּחוֹת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (תהילים ל״א:ו׳): בְּיָדְךָ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (איוב י״ב:י׳): אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדוֹ נֶפֶשׁ כָּל חָי וְרוּחַ כָּל בְּשַׂר אִישׁ. וְזֶה (שם במלכים): וְהָיָה כְּנַגֵּן הַמְּנַגֵּן וַתְּהִי עָלָיו יַד ה':

And the main gathering and building up of the ruach of prophecy is by means of the hand, because the deposits of the ruach are there, as it is written (Psalms 31:6), “Into Your hand I deposit my ruach,” and as in (Job 12:10), “in Whose hand is the life of every living thing and the ruach of all human flesh.” This is the explanation of “As the musician played, the hand of God came upon him” (2 Kings, ibid.) .

7 ז

נִמְצָא, עַל־יְדֵי שֶׁמְּנַגֵּן בַּיָּד עַל הַכְּלִי זֶמֶר, עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה מְבָרֵר הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה מִן הָרוּחַ רָעָה, שֶׁזֶּהוּ בְּחִינַת רוּחַ נְבוּאָה כַּנַּ"ל. וְכָל זֶה הוּא בְּחִינַת הַכְנָעַת הַמְדַמֶּה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת הָרוּחַ רָעָה, רוּחַ שְׁטוּת, שֶׁרוֹצֶה לִפְגֹּם וּלְבַלְבֵּל אֶת בְּחִינַת הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה, רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, וְהוּא נִכְנָע וְנִתְבַּטֵּל עַל־יְדֵי הַשִּׂמְחָה, הַבָּאָה עַל־יְדֵי הַמְּנַגֵּן בַּיָּד כַּנַּ"ל. כִּי עִקַּר הִתְגַּבְּרוּת הַמְדַמֶּה הוּא עַל־יְדֵי עַצְבוּת, כִּי הַמְדַמֶּה הוּא בְּחִינַת עַצְבוּת רוּחַ, רוּחַ נְכֵאָה, רוּחַ רָעָה, שֶׁהוּא מְבַלְבֵּל אֶת הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה, רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת זִכָּרוֹן הַנַּ"ל, בְּחִינַת לְאַדְבָּקָא מַחֲשַׁבְתָּא בְּעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי הַנַּ"ל.

We see then that by playing a musical instrument with his hand, a person thereby extracts the good ruach from the evil ruach, this being the aspect of the ruach of prophecy, as explained above. All this is the aspect of subduing the imagination, which is the aspect of an evil ruach, a foolish ruach, that would blemish and confound the aspect of the good ruach, the ruach of prophecy. [And the imagination] is subdued and eliminated by means of joy, which comes from the one who plays music with the hand, as explained above. For the main strengthening of the imagination is by means of depression, because the imagination is the aspect a depressed ruach /a gloomy ruach /an evil ruach, which confounds the good ruach /the ruach of prophecy, this being the aspect of memory/attaching one’s thoughts to the World to Come, which was mentioned above.

8 ח

וְעַל כֵּן אֵין יְכוֹלִין לְקַבֵּל רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ, כִּי־אִם עַל־יְדֵי שִׂמְחָה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת מְנַגֵּן בַּיָּד, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: וְהָיָה כְּנַגֵּן הַמְּנַגֵּן וַתְּהִי עָלָיו יַד ה', בְּחִינַת: וְנִגֵּן בְּיָדוֹ וְטוֹב לָךְ וְכוּ' כַּנַּ"ל:

It is therefore impossible to receive the ruach of prophecy/Divine ruach except by means of joy, which is the aspect of playing music with the hand, as in, “As the musician played, the hand of God came upon him,” the aspect of “his hand will play, and it will be good for you,” as explained above.

9 ט

וְזֶה הַמְנַגֵּן, צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה יוֹדֵעַ נַגֵּן כַּנַּ"ל. גַּם צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַכְּלִי בִּשְׁלֵמוּת, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תֵּצֵא כָּל הָרוּחַ הַמְעֹרָב טוֹב וָרַע בְּבַת אַחַת. וְעַל־כֵּן צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה יוֹדֵעַ נַגֵּן, וְגַם שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַכְּלִי שֶׁמְּנַגְּנִין עָלֶיהָ שָׁלֵם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל לְבָרֵר וּלְכַוֵּן הַנִּגּוּן בִּשְׁלֵמוּת כָּרָאוּי, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת מַה שֶּׁמְּבָרֵר הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת שִׂמְחָה, בְּחִינַת רוּחַ נְבוּאָה, מִן הָעַצְבוּת רוּחַ, שֶׁהוּא רוּחַ רָעָה כַּנַּ"ל. כִּי כְּשֶׁאֵין הַכְּלִי שָׁלֵם, אוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ נַגֵּן, וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לַעֲלוֹת וְלֵירֵד בְּיָדוֹ לְבָרֵר הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה מִן הָרוּחַ רָעָה, עָלָיו נֶאֱמַר (משלי כ״ט:י״א): כָּל רוּחוֹ יוֹצִיא כְּסִיל, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁמּוֹצִיא כָּל הָרוּחַ בְּבַת אַחַת, וַאֲזַי בְּוַדַּאי אֵין נִבְנֶה הַנִּגּוּן.

Now this musician has to be “skilled at playing,” as explained above. Also the instrument on which he plays has to be whole, so that the ruach, which is a mixture of good and evil, does not emerge all at once. This is why he must be “skilled at playing,” and why the instrument he plays must be whole, so that he can properly extract and direct the music to perfection. This corresponds to extracting the good ruach, which is the aspect of joy/the ruach of prophecy, from the ruach of depression/the ruach of evil, as explained above. For when the instrument is not whole, or he is not skilled at playing and so does not know how to raise and lower his hand in order to extract the good ruach from the evil ruach, it is said of him (Proverbs 29:11), “A fool vents all his ruach”—i.e., he gives out all the ruach at one time, so that the music is certainly not built up.

10 י

כִּי עִקַּר נְעִימַת הַנִּגּוּן נַעֲשֶׂה עַל־יְדֵי בֵּרוּר הָרוּחַ, (שֶׁהוּא הָאֲוִיר, שֶׁמִּשָּׁם הַקּוֹל, כַּיָּדוּעַ לְחַכְמֵי הַנְּגִינָה), הַיְנוּ שֶׁעִקַּר בְּחִינַת הַנִּגּוּן, הוּא עַל־יְדֵי בֵּרוּר הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה מִן הָרוּחַ רָעָה. וּכְשֶׁיּוֹצֵא כָּל הָרוּחַ בְּבַת אַחַת, יוֹצֵא כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא מְעֹרָב טוֹב וָרַע, וַאֲזַי אֵין נִבְנֶה הַנִּגּוּן וְהַשִּׂמְחָה, וְאֵין נִכְנָע הַמְדַמֶּה.

This is because the essential beauty of the music is achieved through the extraction of the ruach {this is the air from which the sound comes, as is known to those skilled in music}. In other words, the aspect of music comes essentially through the extracting of the good ruach from the evil ruach. But when he brings out the ruach all at once, it comes out as it is: a mixture of good and evil. As a result, the music and joy are not built up, and the imagination is not subdued.

11 יא

וְזֶה בְּחִינַת (תהילים קמ״ו:ד׳): תֵּצֵא רוּחוֹ יָשׁוּב לְאַדְמָתוֹ. לְאַדְמָתוֹ, הַיְנוּ בְּחִינַת הַמְדַמֶּה. הַיְנוּ כְּשֶׁיּוֹצֵא כָּל הָרוּחַ, אֲזַי חוֹזֵר וְשָׁב אֶל הַמְדַמֶּה, כִּי לֹא נִכְנָע הַמְדַמֶּה, מֵאַחַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְלַקֵּט וּלְבָרֵר הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה, וְיוֹצֵא כָּל הָרוּחַ הַמְעֹרָב טוֹב וָרַע.

This corresponds to “His ruach goes out; he returns to his adamah (dust)” (Psalms 146:4). “To his aDaMaH” is the aspect of the meDaMeH. In other words, when all the ruach comes out, he returns and goes back to the imagination. This is because he has not subdued the imagination, since he is unable to gather and extract the good ruach, so that all the ruach, which is a mixture of good and evil, comes out.

12 יב

אֲבָל כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בְּחִינַת יָד הַנַּ"ל, הַמְלַקֵּט וּמְבָרֵר בְּחִינַת הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה מִן הָרוּחַ רָעָה, אֲזַי מַכְנִיעַ הַמְדַמֶּה, בִּבְחִינַת: וּבְיַד הַנְּבִיאִים אֲדַמֶּה כַּנַּ"ל, כִּי עִקַּר בְּחִינַת הַנְּבוּאָה, הוּא מִבְּחִינַת הַיָּד הַנַּ"ל, שֶׁמְּבָרֵר הָרוּחַ טוֹבָה מִן הָרוּחַ רָעָה, וְעַל־יְדֵי־זֶה מַכְנִיעַ הַמְדַמֶּה, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת רוּחַ רָעָה הַמְעֹרָב בְּרוּחַ טוֹבָה כַּנַּ"ל:

However, if he has the aspect of the hand that gathers and extracts the aspect of the good ruach from the evil ruach, he can then subdue the imagination, in the aspect of “by the hand of the prophets I have been imagined,” as explained above. For the essence of the aspect of prophecy comes from the above mentioned aspect of the hand that extracts the good ruach from the evil ruach and through this subdues the imagination, which is the aspect of the evil ruach mixed with the good ruach, as explained above.

13 יג

וְזֶה שֶׁכָּתוּב (משלי ל): מִי עָלָה שָׁמַיִם וַיֵּרַד, מִי אָסַף רוּחַ בְּחָפְנָיו, מִי צָרַר מַיִם בַּשִּׂמְלָה, מִי הֵקִים כָּל אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ.

This is the explanation of what is written, “Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the ruach in his palms? Who has wrapped the waters in a robe? Who has established all afsay (the ends) of the earth?” (Proverbs 30:4) .

14 יד

מִי עָלָה שָׁמַיִם וַיֵּרַד – זֶה בְּחִינַת הַמְנַגֵּן, כִּי זֶה הַמְנַגֵּן, הוּא עוֹלֶה וְיוֹרֵד בַּנְּגִינָה, כִּי צָרִיךְ לַעֲלוֹת וְלֵירֵד בְּמִדַּת הַנִּימִין, כְּפִי מִשְׁקַל הַשִּׁיר, כְּדֵי לְקַבֵּץ הָרוּחַ: וְזֶה:

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?—This is the aspect of the musician. The musician goes up and down in the music, because he has to go up and down on the scale of the strings in line with the song’s notes in order to gather the ruach. And this is:

15 טו

מִי אָסַף רוּחַ בְּחָפְנָיו – בְּחָפְנָיו מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁהֵם הַיָּדַיִם, כִּי שָׁם שֹׁרֶשׁ הָרוּחַ כַּנַּ"ל. שֶׁעִקַּר בְּחִינַת הָרוּחַ הוּא בַּיָּדַיִם, שֶׁשָּׁם פִּקְדוֹנוֹת הָרוּחוֹת כַּנַּ"ל. וְזֶה:

Who has gathered the ruach in his palms?—Literally, “in his palms,” which are the hands, because the root of the ruach is there, as explained above. The essential aspect of the ruach is in the hands, because the deposits of the ruach are there, as explained above. And this is:

16 טז

מִי צָרַר מַיִם בַּשִּׂמְלָה – מַיִם בְּחִינַת לֵב, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (איכה ב׳:י״ט): שִׁפְכִי כַמַּיִם לִבֵּךְ. הַיְנוּ שֶׁעַל־יְדֵי־זֶה שֶׁמְּלַקֵּט הָרוּחַ, הוּא צוֹרֵר מַיִם בַּשִּׂמְלָה, שֶׁשּׁוֹמֵר הַלֵּב שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁלֹט עָלָיו הַמְדַמֶּה. וְזֶה:

Who has wrapped the waters in a robe?—“Waters” is the aspect of the heart, as it is written (Lamentations 2:19), “Pour out your heart like water.” In other words, by gathering the ruach, he “has wrapped the waters in a robe”—he guards the heart so that the imagination does not rule over it. And this is:

17 יז

מִי הֵקִים כָּל אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ – שֶׁעַל־יְדֵי־זֶה הוּא מֵקִים בְּחִינַת רַגְלִין הַמְלֻבָּשׁ בְּזֶה הָעוֹלָם. אַפְסֵי, בְּחִינַת רַגְלִין, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (יחזקאל מז): וַיַּעֲבִרֵנִי מֵי אָפְסָיִם.

Who has established all afsay of the earth?—Through this he elevates the aspect of the feet that is enclothed in this world. “Afsay” is the aspect of the feet, as it is written (Ezekiel 47:3), “They led me [through the water]; the water was afsayim (ankle-deep).”

18 יח

כִּי עַל־יְדֵי נִגּוּן בַּיָּד הַנַּ"ל, עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה נִכְנָע הַמְדַמֶּה, וַאֲזַי זוֹכֶה לַזִּכָּרוֹן הַנַּ"ל, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת מַה שֶּׁיּוֹדֵעַ לְהָבִין כָּל הָרְמָזִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֵם בְּחִינַת חִיּוּת אֱלֹקוּת, בְּחִינַת רַגְלֵי הַקְּדֻשָּׁה, הַמְלֻבָּשִׁים בְּכָל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם כַּנַּ"ל. וְזֶהוּ: מִי הֵקִים כָּל אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ – שֶׁמַּעֲלֶה וּמְקַיֵּם בְּחִינַת רַגְלֵי הַקְּדֻשָּׁה הַמְלֻבָּשִׁין בְּזֶה הָעוֹלָם כַּנַּ"ל:

For by playing music with the hand, as mentioned above, the imagination is subdued. Then he merits memory, which is the aspect of his knowing to understand all the hints that are in each thing in the world. These [hints] are the aspect of the vitality of Godliness, the aspect of the feet of holiness that are enclothed in all that exists in the world, as explained above. This is the explanation of “Who has established all the ends of the earth?”—he elevates and establishes the feet of holiness that are enclothed in this world, as explained above.