Tomer Devorah: An Egalitarian Translation

Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (The Ramak, 1522-1570) was a Sefardic Kabbalist from Spain who led a group of mekubalim (students of Kabbalah) in Tsfat. He is known for organizing Zoharic and Medieval Kabbalah into an encyclopaedic system, teaching many famous students, and being a saint (tzaddik) and mystic himself. He was also known for his stress on the teaching of panentheism- that all is God, and God is the only reality. His writings on how God could be found everywhere and in everything would later influence the Hasidic masters.

Tomer Devorah ("The Palm Tree of Deborah") is a guide to the practice- common to several faith traditions- of imitatio dei, or "the imitation of the behaviour of the divine." It is a wise, humble, and often very challenging and countercultural text (probably then as well as now). The Ramak is unique in the strength of his emphasis on radical forgiveness, universal love and compassion, and reverence for all the creatures of nature, even those people often treat with contempt.

The Tomer Devorah is also marked by its emphasis on the Kabbalistic teaching that humans partner with God in the bringing of blessing and healing into the world. When humans practice the virtues and intentions outlined in the Tomer Devorah, their behaviour is mirrored above in the Sefirot (divine energies) and they provoke tikkunim (repairs) which bring shefa (bounty, blessing) into the world. The study of the Tomer Devorah became very important in the Mussar (ethical self-discipline) movement and among Hasidim, and is believed to bring teshuvah (return to the divine) and protection. It is a custom among some to study the entire text in the month of Elul leading up to Rosh Hashanah.

The Tomer Devorah begins with a lengthy discussion of how to embody the highest Sefirah- Keter- by embodying Hashem's thirteen traits of compassion. The Ramak then suggests an interesting mantra-like practice that we can take up to help us transform into more divinely compassionate people. The Ramak will then go on to discuss the rest of the sefirot and how they can be embodied....

(א) האדם ראוי שיתדמה לקונו: הָאָדָם רָאוּי שֶׁיִּתְדַּמֶּה לְקוֹנוֹ וְאָז יִהְיֶה בְּסוֹד הַצּוּרָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה צֶלֶם וּדְמוּת, שֶׁאִלּוּ יְדֻמֶּה בְּגוּפוֹ וְלֹא בִּפְעֻלּוֹת הֲרֵי הוּא מַכְזִיב הַצּוּרָה וְיֹאמְרוּ עָלָיו צוּרָה נָאָה וּמַעֲשִׂים כְּעוּרִים. שֶׁהֲרֵי עִיקָר הַצֶּלֶם וְהַדְּמוּת הָעֶלְיוֹן הֵן פְּעֻלּוֹתָיו, וּמַה יוֹעִיל לוֹ הֱיוֹתוֹ כְּצוּרָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה דְּמוּת תַּבְנִית אֵבָרָיו וּבַפְּעֻלּוֹת לֹא יִתְדַמֶּה לְקוֹנוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ רָאוּי שֶׁיִּתְדַּמֶּה אֶל פְּעֻלּוֹת הַכֶּתֶר שֶׁהֵן י"ג מִדּוֹת שֶׁל רַחֲמִים עֶלְיוֹנוֹת. וּרְמוּזוֹת בְּסוֹד הַפְּסוּקִים (מיכה ז, יח) מִי אֵל כָּמוֹךָ. יָשׁוּב יְרַחֲמֵנוּ. תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת. אִם כֵּן רָאוּי שֶׁתִּמְצָאֶנָּה בוֹ י"ג מִדּוֹת אֵלּוּ. וְעַכְשָׁו נְפָרֵשׁ אוֹתָן הַפְּעֻלּוֹת י"ג שֶׁרָאוּי שֶׁתִּהְיֶינָה בוֹ:

(1) Elul 1 (Friday, Aug 21)

Chapter 1 - That It Is Fitting For A Person To Be Like Their Creator:

It is fitting for a human being to resemble their Creator and then they will be in the secret of the Highest Form in both "image" and "likeness". If they are alike in body [image; ] but not in actions [likeness], they betray the Form and they will say about that one, "A lovely form but ugly deeds." [According to Kabbalah, the human body is a symbolic microcosm of the esoteric self-revelation of divinity in the upper realms of existence]. You see, the essence of the Highest Image and Likeness is behaviour. And what will it benefit one to have the structure of the limbs like the Highest Form, but not resemble their Creator in their actions? Therefore it is fitting that one should resemble the actions of Keter [the highest sefira, the "Crown" or transcendent and mysterious will], which are the thirteen transcendent attributes of compassion [ which we chant on the Days of Awe: "adonai, adonai, el rahum v'hanun..."]. And they are hinted at in the secret of the verses (Michah 7:18-20), "Who is a god like you? you dwell in compassion for us, you will be true to us." If so, it is fitting that these thirteen traits be found in the human. And now we will explain these thirteen actions that are fitting to be in us.

(א) הא' - מי אל כמוך - מוֹרֶה עַל הֱיוֹת הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֶלֶךְ נֶעֱלַב, סוֹבֵל עֶלְבּוֹן מַה שֶׁלֹּא יְכִילֵהוּ רַעְיוֹן. הֲרֵי אֵין דָּבָר נִסְתָּר מֵהַשְׁגָּחָתוֹ בְּלִי סָפֵק, וְעוֹד אֵין רֶגַע שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה הָאָדָם נִזּוֹן וּמִתְקַיֵּם מִכֹּחַ עֶלְיוֹן הַשּׁוֹפֵעַ עָלָיו, וַהֲרֵי תִּמְצָא שֶׁמֵּעוֹלָם לֹא חָטָא אָדָם נֶגְדּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה הוּא בְּאוֹתוֹ הָרֶגַע מַמָּשׁ שׁוֹפֵעַ שֶׁפַע קִיּוּמוֹ וּתְנוּעַת אֵבָרָיו, עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁהָאָדָם חֹטֵא בַכֹּחַ הַהוּא לֹא מְנָעוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ כְּלָל אֶלָּא סוֹבֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עֶלְבּוֹן כָּזֶה לִהְיוֹת מַשְׁפִּיעַ בּוֹ כֹּחַ תְּנוּעוֹת אֵבָרָיו, וְהוּא מוֹצִיא אוֹתוֹ כֹּחַ בְּאוֹתוֹ רֶגַע בְּחֵטְא וְעָוֹן וּמַכְעִיס וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא סוֹבֵל. וְלֹא תֹאמַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִמְנוֹעַ מִמֶּנּוּ הַטּוֹב הַהוּא ח"ו שֶׁהֲרֵי בְכֹחוֹ בְּרֶגַע כְּמֵימְרָא לְיַבֵּשׁ יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו כְּעֵין שֶׁעָשָׂה לְיָרָבְעָם, וְעִם כָּל זֹאת שֶׁהַכֹּחַ בְּיָדוֹ לְהַחְזִיר הַכֹּחַ הַנִּשְׁפָּע הַהוּא וְהָיָה לוֹ לוֹמַר כֵּיוָן שֶׁאַתָּה חֹטֵא נֶגְדִּי תֶּחֱטָא בְּשֶׁלְּךָ לֹא בְשֶׁלִּי, לֹא מִפְּנֵי זֶה מָנַע טוּבוֹ מִן הָאָדָם אֶלָּא סָבַל עֶלְבּוֹן, וְהִשְׁפִּיעַ הַכֹּחַ וְהֵטִיב לְאָדָם טוּבוֹ. הֲרֵי זֶה עֶלְבּוֹן וְסַבְלָנוּת מַה שֶׁלֹּא יְסֻפָּר וְעַל זֶה קוֹרְאִים מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֶלֶךְ עָלוּב וְהַיְנוּ אוֹמְרוֹ מִי אֵל כָּמוֹךָ, אַתָּה אֵל בַּעַל חֶסֶד הַמֵּטִיב, אֵל בַּעַל כֹּחַ לִנְקֹם וְלֶאֱסֹף אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ, וְעִם כָּל זֹאת אַתָּה סוֹבֵל וְנֶעֱלָב עַד יָשׁוּב בִּתְשׁוּבָה.

(ב) הֲרֵי זוֹ מִדָּה שֶׁצָּרִיךְ הָאָדָם לְהִתְנַהֵג בָּהּ רְצוֹנִי הַסַּבְלָנוּת וְכֵן הֱיוֹתוֹ נֶעֱלַב אֲפִלּוּ לְמַדְרֵגָה זוֹ וְעִם כָּל זֹאת לֹא יֶאֱסֹף טוֹבָתוֹ מִן הַמְּקַבֵּל:

(1) ‎The First: "Who is a power like You" instructs about the Holy One of Being being a humiliated Ruler who tolerates humiliation and insult that is inconceivable. Behold, nothing is hidden from the divine sight, without a doubt, and yet there is no moment ‎when a person is not nourished and preserved by supernal strength that flows upon them; and behold, you find that ‎there was never a person who sinned against Hashem without Hashem -at that very instant! - nevertheless willing the flow of their existence and the movement of their limbs. While this person does wrong with that very force, Hashem does not withhold it from them at all!

Rather, the Holy One of Being tolerates such an insult and lets flow the power for the movement of their ‎limbs to the person, and the person uses that power at that moment for going wrong and for lawlessness and outrageous actions; and the Holy One of Being tolerates it. And you should not say that God is not able to withhold this goodness from them - has v'shalom. To the contrary- it is in Hashem's power to make their arms and legs rigid instantly like Yerovam (I Kings 13:4). And even with all this, that Hashem has the power in hand to withdraw that flowing force, ‎and to say, "Since you do wrong against Me, do wrong with your own [strength], not with Mine!" - Yet ‎Hashem does not withhold good from a person for this. Instead, the Holy One of Being tolerates the insult, lets flows the strength ‎and gives the person goodness. Behold, this is a tolerance of insult beyond belief! And for this, the ministering angels call the Holy One of Being the humiliated Ruler. And this is, "Who is a power like You" - You ‎are a god that is a Master of Kindness that benefits, a god that is a Master of strength to take revenge and ‎take back what is Yours; and with all that, You tolerate and bear insult until the person repents.

(2) Behold, this is a ‎trait that a person must practice - I mean patient tolerance; and, so, to be insulted, even to this extent, and nonetheless not to ‎withhold one’s goodness from the recipient.

[note this does not mean we do not rebuke people or defend ourselves; both are mandated by Jewish law and the Ramak will reference this later. Rather refers to not withholding goodness from them, a form of revenge that is forbidden by Jewish law]. ‎

(א) הב' - נושא עון - וַהֲרֵי זֶה גָּדוֹל מֵהַקֹּדֶם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה הָאָדָם עָוֹן שֶׁלֹּא יִבָּרֵא מַשְׁחִית כְּדִתְנַן הָעוֹבֵר עֲבֵרָה אַחַת קֹנֶה לוֹ קָטֵגוֹר אֶחָד וַהֲרֵי אוֹתוֹ קַטֵּגוֹר עוֹמֵד לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְאוֹמֵר פְּלוֹנִי עֲשָׂאַנִי, וְאֵין בְּרִיָּה מִתְקַיֶּמֶת בָּעוֹלָם אֶלָּא בְּשִׁפְעוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וַהֲרֵי הַמַּשְׁחִית הַזֶּה עוֹמֵד לְפָנָיו וּבַמֶּה מִתְקַיֵּם, הַדִּין נוֹתֵן שֶּׁיֹּאמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֵינִי זָן מַשְׁחִיתִים יֵלֵךְ אֵצֶל מִי שֶׁעֲשָׂאוֹ וְיִתְפַּרְנֵס מִמֶּנּוּ וְהָיָה הַמַּשְׁחִית יוֹרֵד מִיַּד וְנוֹטֵל נִשְׁמָתוֹ אוֹ כוֹרְתוֹ אוֹ נֶעֱנַשׁ עָלָיו כְּפִי עָנְשׁוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְבַּטֵּל הַמַּשְׁחִית הַהוּא, וְאֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עוֹשֶׂה כֵן אֶלָּא נוֹשֵׂא וְסוֹבֵל הָעַיִן וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהוּא זָן הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס הַמַּשְׁחִית הַזֶּה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אֶחָד מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים, אוֹ שֶׁיָּשׁוּב הַחוֹטֵא בִּתְשׁוּבָה וִיכַלֵּהוּ וִיבַטְּלֵהוּ בְּסִגֻּפָיו, אוֹ יְבַטְּלֵהוּ שׁוֹפֵט צֶדֶק בְּיִסּוּרִים וּמִיתָה, אוֹ יֵלֵךְ בַּגֵּיהִנֹּם וְשָׁם יִפְרַע חוֹבוֹ. וְהַיְנוּ שֶׁאָמַר קַיִן גָּדוֹל עֲוֹנִי מִנְּשׂוֹא וּפֵרְשׁוּ חֲזַ"ל כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ אַתָּה סוֹבֵל יֵרָצֶה זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס, וַעֲוֹנִי כָבֵד שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה יָכוֹל לְסוֹבְלוֹ פֵּרוּשׁ לְפַרְנְסוֹ עַד שֶׁאָשׁוּב וַאֲתַקֵּן, אִם כֵּן הֲרֵי זֶה מִדַּת סַבְלָנוּת גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁיָּזוּן וּמְפַרְנֵס בְּרִיָּה רָעָה שֶׁבָּרָא הַחוֹטֵא עַד שֶׁיָּשׁוּב.

(ב) יִלְמֹד הָאָדָם כַּמָּה צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה סַבְלָן לִסְבֹּל עֹל חֲבֵרוֹ וְרָעוֹתָיו שֶׁהֵרִיעַ עַד שִׁעוּר כָּזֶה שֶׁעֲדַיִן רָעָתוֹ קַיֶּמֶת, שֶׁחָטָא נֶגְדּוֹ וְהוּא יִסְבֹּל עַד יְתַקֵּן חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְבַּטֵּל מֵאֵלָיו וְכַיּוֹצֵא:

Elul 4 (Monday, Aug 24)

(1) The second: "Who bears iniquity" - and behold, this trait is greater than the previous. As behold, a human does not do a negative action without creating a destructive spirit (mashchit); as it is learned (Avot 4:11), "One who transgresses with a single bad deed acquires a single prosecutor." And behold, this prosecutor stands in front of the Holy One of Being, and says, "X made me." And no creature exists in the world except from the bounty of the Holy One of Being - and behold, this destructive spirit that stands in front of the Holy One of Being, from what does that one exist? It would be logical that the Holy One of Being would say, "I do not nourish destructive spirits - they should go to the one that made them and be sustained from them!" Then the destructive spirit would go down immediately and take their soul, cut them off or have them punished fittingly - until this destructive spirit is nullified.

Yet the Holy One of Being does not do this; but rather bears and tolerates the bad deed- and just as Hashem nourishes and sustains the whole world, so too does Hashem nourish and sustain this destructive spirit until there be one of three things: Either the wrongdoer repents and finishes off and nullifies the destructive spirit with mortifications; or the righteous Judge nullifies the spirit with afflictions and death given to the wrongdoer; or they go to Gehinom and pay the debt there [before going on to Olam HaBa]. And that is the meaning of what Cain said (Genesis 4:13), "Is my wrongdoing too great to bear?" [i.e. can you not sustain the destructive angel I created until I do a tikkun?] as the Sages, may their memory be blessed, explained it (Midrash Tanchuma, Bereshit 9), "You tolerate the whole world" - meaning nourish and sustain - "and my wrongdoing is so heavy that you cannot tolerate it" - meaning to sustain it until I repent and repair it. If so, behold this is a great trait of tolerance - that Hashem nourishes and sustains an evil creature that the wrongdoer created until they repent [and the creature is nullified].

(2) A person should learn from this how much they need to be tolerant, to carry the yoke of their fellow and the evils that they did against them; to the measure such that their evil that they sinned against them is still in existence - and they tolerate it until his fellow repairs it, or that it is nullified as we discussed ["tolerate it" here means we do not bring punishment, harm or suffering to them].

(א) הג'- ועובר על פשע - זוֹ מִדָּה גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין הַמְּחִילָה עַל יְדֵי שָׁלִיחַ אֶלָּא עַל יָדוֹ מַמָּשׁ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כְּדִכְתִיב (תהלים קל, ד) כִּי עִמְּךָ הַסְּלִיחָה וְגוֹ' וּמַה הִיא הַסְּלִיחָה שֶׁהוּא רוֹחֵץ הֶעָוֹן כְּדִכְתִיב (ישעיה ד, ד) אִם רָחַץ אֲדֹנָי אֵת צֹאַת בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן וְגוֹ׳ וְכֵן כְּתִיב (יחזקאל לו, כה) וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וְגוֹ' וְהַיְנוּ וְעוֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע שׁוֹלֵחַ מֵימֵי רְחִיצָה וְעוֹבֵד וְרוֹחֵץ הַפֶּשַׁע.

(ב) וְהִנֵּה מַמָּשׁ כִּדְמוּת זֶה צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת הָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר וְכִי אֲנִי מְתַקֵּן מַה שֶׁפְּלוֹנִי חָטָא אוֹ הִשְׁחִית, לֹא יֹאמַר כָּךְ שֶׁהֲרֵי הָאָדָם חֹטֵא וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ שֶׁלֹּא עַל יְדֵי שָׁלִיחַ מְתַקֵּן אֶת מְעֻוָּת וְרוֹחֵץ צֹאַת עֲוֹנוֹ.

(ג) וּמִכָּאן יִתְבַּיֵּשׁ הָאָדָם לָשׁוּב לַחֲטֹא שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּעַצְמוֹ רוֹחֵץ לִכְלוּךְ בְּגָדָיו:

(1) The third: "And passes over bad deeds" - this is a great trait. As behold, the pardon is not through an emissary [angel] but rather actually through the Holy One of Being - as it is written (Psalm 130:4), "For with You is forgiveness" And what is that forgiveness? That God washes away the bad deeds, as it is written (Isaiah 4:4), "When YHVH will have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion" and (Ezekiel 36:25), "I will sprinkle upon you pure waters" And this is "and passes over bad deeds" - Hashem sends forth waters of washing, and passes over and washes away the bad deeds.

(2) And behold, just like this likeness must a person be! One should not say, "And shall I fix what x sinned or destroyed?" He should not say like this; for behold, a person does wrong and the Holy One of Being Godself, and not through an emissary - 'fixes the twisted,' and washes away the filth of bad deeds.

(3) And from here, the person will be ashamed to do wrong again; for behold, the Divine Ruler Godself washes the dirt of their clothes!

(א) הה' - לא החזיק לעד אפו - זוֹ מִדָּה אַחֶרֶת שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ שֶׁהָאָדָם מַחֲזִיק בְּחֵטְא אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַחֲזִיק אַף, וְאִם מַחֲזִיק לֹא לָעַד אֶלָּא יְבַטֵּל כַּעֲסוֹ אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא יָשׁוּב הָאָדָם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁמָּצִינוּ בִּימֵי יָרָבְעָם בֶּן יוֹאָשׁ שֶׁהֶחְזִיר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵם הָיוּ עוֹבְדִים עֲגָלִים וְרִחֵם עֲלֵיהֶם וְלֹא שָׁבוּ אִם כֵּן לָמָּה רִחֵם, בִּשְׁבִיל מִדָּה זוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הֶחֱזִיק לָעַד אַפּוֹ אַדְּרַבָּא מַחְלִישׁ אַפּוֹ עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁעֲדַיִן הַחֵטְא קַיָּם אֵינוֹ מַעֲנִישׁ אֶלָּא מְצַפֶּה וּמְרַחֵם אוּלַי יָשׁוּבוּ, וְהַיְנוּ כִּי לֹא לָנֶצַח אָרִיב וְלֹא לְעוֹלָם אֶטּוֹר אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג בְּרַכּוֹת וּבַקָּשׁוֹת הַכֹּל לְטוֹבַת יִשְׂרָאֵל.

(ב) וְזוֹ מִדָּה רְאוּיָה לְאָדָם לְהִתְנַהֵג בָּהּ עַל חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁהוּא רַשַּׁאי לְהוֹכִיחַ בְּיִסּוּרִים אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ אֶת בָּנָיו וְהֵם מִתְיַסְּרִים לֹא מִפְּנֵי זֶה יַרְבֶּה תּוֹכַחְתּוֹ וְלֹא יַחֲזִיק כַּעֲסוֹ אֲפִלּוּ שֶּׁכָּעַס אֶלָּא יְבַטְּלֶנּוּ וְלֹא יַחֲזִיק לָעַד אַפּוֹ, גַם אִם אַף הוּא הַמֻּתָּר לָאָדָם כְּעֵין שֶׁפֵּרְשׁוּ כִּי תִרְאֶה חֲמוֹר שֹׂנַאֲךָ וְגוֹ' וּפֵרְשׁוּ מַה הִיא הַשִּׂנְאָה הַזֹּאת שֶׁרָאָה אוֹתוֹ עוֹבֵר עֲבֵרָה וְהוּא יָחִיד אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָעִיד וְשֹׂנֵא אוֹתוֹ עַל דְּבַר עֲבֵרָה וַאֲפִלּוּ הָכִי אָמְרָה תּוֹרָה עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב עִמּוֹ שְׁבוֹק יָת דִּבְלִבָּךְ אֶלָּא מִצְוָה לְקָרֵב אוֹתוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה אוּלַי יוֹעִיל בְּדֶרֶךְ זוֹ וְהַיְנוּ מַמָּשׁ מִדָּה זוֹ לֹא הֶחֱזִיק לָעַד אַפּוֹ:

(1) The fifth - "Hashem does not hold on to fury forever" - this is a different trait: that even if a person holds on to their wrongdoing, the Holy One of Being does not hold on to fury. And even if Hashem does hold on to it, it is not forever. Rather, Hashem nullifies anger, even if the person does not repent. As we found in the days of Yerovam the son of Yoash, that the Holy One of Being brought back the boundary of Israel from foreign occupation and they were still worshipping calves - Hashem had mercy upon them, but they did not repent. If so, why did Hashem have mercy? For the sake of this trait, that Hashem does not hold on to fury forever. Just the opposite, fury weakens - even as the wrongdoing is still in existence, Hashem does not punish, but rather Hashem expects and has compassion that they may do teshuvah. And that is the meaning of "Hashem will not contend forever, or begrudge for all time" (Psalms 103:9). Rather, the Holy One of Being acts with either softness or harshness all for the good of Israel.

(2) And this is a trait that is fitting for a person to practice with their fellow. Even if one is permitted to rebuke one's friend or one's children with upbraiding and they accept it, one should increase rebuke because of that. One should not hold on to one's anger even if they got angry, but rather nullify it in oneself. And one should not hold on to rage forever, even if it is a rage that is permitted to a person, similar to that which they explained: "f you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; you shall surely release them" (Exodus 23:5); and they explained (Pesachim 113b) what is this anger - that they saw someone doing something wrong, but the one seeing is alone, such that they may not testify [as eyewitness testimony requires two witnesses]; and so they hate the wrongdoer for the matter of the wrong. And even so, the Torah states, "you shall surely release them" - leave that which is in your heart; rather it is even a commandment to bring them close with love! Perhaps it will be beneficial to act in this way. And this is exactly the trait of, "Hashem does not hold on to fury forever."

(א) הד' - לשארית נחלתו - הִנֵּה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדֶרֶךְ זֶה לוֹמַר מַה אֶעֱשֶׂה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵם קְרוֹבָי שְׁאֵר בָּשָׂר יֵשׁ לִי עִמָּהֶם שֶׁהֵם בַּת זוּג לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְקוֹרֵא לָהּ בִּתִּי, אֲחוֹתִי, אִמִּי. כְּדְפֵרְשׁוּ ז"ל וּכְתִיב יִשְׂרָאֵל עַם קְרוֹבוֹ מַמָּשׁ קֻרְבָה יֵשׁ לוֹ עִמָּהֶם וּבָנָיו הֵם. וְהַיְנוּ לִשְׁאֵרִית נַחֲלָתוֹ לָשׁוֹן שְׁאֵר בָּשָׂר וְסוֹף סוֹף הֵם נַחֲלָתוֹ. וּמַה אֹמַר, אִם אַעֲנִישֵׁם הֲרֵי הַכְּאֵב עָלַי כְּדִכְתִיב (יְשַׁעְיָה סג, ט) בְּכָל צָרָתָם לוֹ צָר. כְּתִיב בְּ'אַלֶף' לוֹמַר שֶׁצַּעֲרָם מַגִּיעַ לְפֶלֶא הָעֶלְיוֹן וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן לְדוּ פַּרְצוּפִין שֶׁבָּהֶן עִיקָר הַהַנְהָגָה וְקָרֵינַן בְּ'וָאו' לוֹ צָר. וּכְתִיב (שֹׁפְטִים, ז) וַתִּקְצַר נַפְשִׁי בַּעֲמַל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ סוֹבֵל צַעֲרָם וּקְלוֹנָם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם שְׁאֵרִית נַחֲלָתוֹ.

(ב) כָּךְ הָאָדָם עִם חֲבֵרוֹ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם שְׁאֵר בָּשָׂר אֵלּוּ עִם אֵלּוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַנְּשָׁמוֹת כְּלוּלוֹת יַחַד יֵשׁ בָּזֶה חֵלֶק זֶה וּבָזֶה חֵלֶק זֶה, וּלְכָךְ אֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה מְרֻבִּים הָעוֹשִׂים אֶת הַמִּצְוֹת וְכ"ז מִפְּנֵי כְּלָלוּתָם, וּלְכָךְ פֵּרְשׁוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה עַל הַנִּמְנֶה מֵעֲשָׂרָה רִאשׁוֹנִים בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה בָּאִים אַחֲרָיו מְקַבֵּל שָׂכָר כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם, מֵאָה מַמָּשׁ כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָעֲשָׂרָה הֵם כְּלוּלִים אֵלּוּ בְּאֵלּוּ הֲרֵי הֵם עֲשָׂרָה פְּעָמִים עֲשָׂרָה מֵאָה וְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶם כָּלוּל מִמֵּאָה אִם כֵּן אֲפִלּוּ יָבוֹאוּ מֵאָה הוּא יֵשׁ לוֹ שְׂכַר מֵאָה, וְכֵן מִטַּעַם זֶה יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲרֵבִים זֶה לָזֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּמָּשׁ יֵשׁ בְּכָל אֶחָד חֵלֶק אֶחָד מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וּכְשֶׁחוֹטֵא הָאֶחָד פּוֹגֵם אֶת עַצְמוֹ וּפוֹגֵם חֵלֶק אֲשֶׁר לַחֲבֵרוֹ בּוֹ, נִמְצָא מִצַּד הַחֵלֶק הַהוּא חֲבֵרוֹ עָרֵב עָלָיו. אִם כֵּן הֵם שְׁאֵר זֶה עִם זֶה וּלְכָךְ רָאוּי לְאָדָם לִהְיוֹתוֹ חָפֵץ בְּטוֹבָתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ וְעֵינוֹ טוֹבָה עַל טוֹבַת חֲבֵרוֹ וּכְבוֹדוֹ יִהְיֶה חָבִיב עָלָיו כְּשֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא הוּא מַמָּשׁ, וּמִטַּעַם זֶה נִצְטַוִּינוּ (וַיִּקְרָא, יט) וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ וְרָאוּי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה בְּכַשְׁרוּת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא יְדַבֵּר בִּגְנוּתוֹ כְּלָל וְלֹא יִרְצֶה בוֹ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רוֹצֶה בִּגְנוּתֵנוּ וְלֹא בְּצַעַרֵנוּ מִטַּעַם הַקֻּרְבָה, אַף הוּא לֹא יִרְצֶה בִּגְנוּת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא בְּצַעֲרוֹ וְלֹא בְּקִלְקוּלוֹ וְיֵרַע לוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מַמָּשׁ הָיָה שָׁרוּי בְּאוֹתוֹ צַעַר אוֹ בְּאוֹתוֹ טוֹבָה:

Elul 5 (Tuesday, Aug 25)

(1) The fourth - "To the remainder of Hashem's inheritance" - behold, the Holy One of Being acts with Israel in this way, to say, "What can I do with Israel, as they are My relations - my blood relatives." As they are the spouse to the Holy One of Being; and Hashem calls them, "My daughter" and "My sister," "My Mother" - as they, may their memory be blessed, explained (Shir HaShirim Rabbah 3:11:2). And it is written (Psalms 148:14), "Israel, Hashem's close (kerovo) nation" - Hashem has actual closeness (kurvah) with them, and they are Hashem's children. And that is [the meaning of] the remainder of (she'erit) inheritance" - it is an expression of relation (she'er) of flesh; and in the end, they are Hashem's literal inheritance. "And what shall I say? If I punish them, behold the pain is upon Me; as it is written (Isaiah 63:9), 'In all their distress, the distress (tsar) was to Him.'" And to Him (lo) is written with an alef to say that their pain reached the Highest Wonder (Wonder, peleh, being composed of the same letters as the spelling of alef, and representing Keter) - and all the more so, the two Faces through which is the central running of the cosmos [i.e. Tiferet and Malchut, or the Holy One and the Shechinah] - but it is written with a letter vav to mean that the distress is to Hashem. And it is written (Judges 10:16), "and God's soul could not bear the suffering of Israel" - as Hashem does not accept indifferently their pain and their disgrace, because they are "the she'erit of Hashem's inheritance."

(2) So is a person with their fellow: All Israel are relations of flesh, these with those since all of their souls are one, this one has a share in that one and that one has a share in this one. And so it is not equal when the many do the commandments and when they are only done by individuals because of their being united. And our Rabbis, may their memory be blessed, thus explained (Berakhot 47b) about the one who is counted from the first ten in the synagogue - even if a hundred come after them, they receive the reward that corresponds to all of them. It is actually a hundred, as per the understanding since the ten are included - these in those - behold, they are ten times ten, one hundred. And so each one of them is composed of a hundred parts! If so, even if one hundred come afterward, the first one has the reward of a hundred. For this reason Israel are guarantors for each other. Since each one actually has a part of their fellow - when the one sins, they damage themselves and they damage the part that their fellow has in them. It comes out from the side of that part that their fellow is their guarantor. If so, they are the relation, one of the other. And so it is fitting that a person desire the good of their fellow and their eye be good towards the good of their fellow, and that their honour should be as beloved as their own - as they are literally oneself!

And from this reason were we commanded (Leviticus 19:18), "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." And it is fitting that they desire what is good for each other and not speak about each other's disgrace at all. And they should not wish ill on each other, in the way that the Holy One of Being does not want our disgrace nor our pain in relation. So too they should not want the disgrace of their fellow nor their pain, nor their corruption. And one should know that we are interdependent with each other and share each other's good and bad fortunes.

(א) הו' - כי חפץ חסד הוא - הֲלֹא כְּבָר פֵּרַשְׁנוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בַּהֵיכָל יָדוּעַ מַלְאָכִים מְמֻנִּים לְקַבֵּל גְּמִילוּת חֶסֶד שֶׁאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה, וְכַאֲשֶׁר מִדַּת הַדִּין מְקַטְרֶגֶת עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִיַּד אֹתָם הַמַּלְאָכִים מַרְאִים הַחֶסֶד הַהוּא וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְרַחֵם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא חָפֵץ בְּחֶסֶד, וְעִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁהֵם חַיָּבִים אִם הֵם גּוֹמְלִים חֶסֶד זֶה לָזֶה - מְרַחֵם עֲלֵיהֶם, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהָיָה בִּזְמַן הַחֻרְבָּן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לְגַבְרִיאֵל (יְחֶזְקֵאל י, ב) בֹּא אֶל בֵּינוֹת לַגַּלְגַּל וְגוֹ' כִּי הוּא שַׂר הַדִּין וְהַגְּבוּרָה וְנָתַן לוֹ רְשׁוּת לְקַבֵּל כֹּחוֹת הַדִּין בֵּינוֹת לַגַּלְגַּל מִתַּחַת לַכְּרוּבִים מֵאֵשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ דְּהַיְנוּ דִּין גְּבוּרַת הַמַּלְכוּת וְהָיָה הַדִּין מִתְחַזֵּק עַד שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לְכַלּוֹת אֶת הַכֹּל לְקַעֲקֵעַ בֵּיצָתָן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּתְחַיְּבוּ כְּלָיָה וּכְתִיב (שם, ח) וַיֵּרָא לַכְּרוּבִים תַּבְנִית יַד אָדָם תַּחַת כַּנְפֵיהֶם וְהַיְּנוּ שֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְגַבְרִיאֵל הֵם גּוֹמְלִים חֲסָדִים אֵלּוּ עִם אֵלּוּ וְאַף אִם הֵם חַיָּבִים נִצּוֹלוּ וְהָיָה לָהֶם שְׁאֵרִית. וְהַטַּעַם מִפְּנֵי מִדָּה זוֹ כִּי חָפֵץ חֶסֶד הוּא רוֹצֶה בְּמַה שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל גּוֹמְלִים חֶסֶד וְאוֹתוֹ צַד מַזְכִּיר לָהֶם עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁאֵינָם כְּשֵׁרִים בְּצַד אַחֵר.

(ב) אִם כֵּן בְּסֵדֶר זוֹ רָאוּי לְאָדָם לְהִתְנַהֵג אַף אִם רָאָה שֶׁאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה לוֹ רַע וּמַכְעִיסוֹ אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ צַד טוֹבָה שֶׁמֵּטִיב לַאֲחֵרִים אוֹ מִדָּה טוֹבָה שֶׁמִּתְנַהֵג כַּשּׁוּרָה יַסְפִּיק לוֹ צַד זֶה לְבַטֵּל כַּעֲסוֹ מֵעָלָיו וְיֵרָצֶה לִבּוֹ עִמּוֹ וְיַחְפֹּץ חֶסֶד וְיֹאמַר דַּי לִי בְּטוֹבָה זוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ כִּדְפֵרְשׁוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה (יְבָמוֹת סג, א) דַּיֵּנוּ שֶׁמְּגַּדְלוֹת אֶת בָּנֵינוּ וּמַצִּילוֹת אוֹתָנוּ מִן הַחֵטְא, כָּךְ יֹאמַר עַל כָּל אָדָם דֵּי לִי בְּטוֹבָה פְּלוֹנִית שֶׁעָשָׂה לִי אוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה עִם פְּלוֹנִי אוֹ מִדָּה טוֹבָה פְּלוֹנִית שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ יִהְיֶה חָפֵץ חֶסֶד:

Elul 6 (Wednesday, Aug 26)

(1)The sixth: "For Hashem is One that desires kindness" - did we not already explain in its place [presumably another work of Cordovero's] that in the Palace of Knowing there are angels appointed to receive the bestowing of kindness that a human does in this world? And when the trait of justice prosecutes Israel, these angels immediately show this kindness, and the Holy One of Being has compassion upon Israel, since Hashem desires kindness. And even with their being liable, if they bestow kindness - this one to that one -Hashem has compassion on them. And it is like it was at the time of the destruction [of the Temple]: That it was told to Gavriel (Ezekiel 10:2), "Go inside the wheels" - as he is the minister of judgement and power; and Hashem gave him authority to receive powers of judgement, inside the wheels from under the cherubs [the angelic beings on top of the ark], from the fire of the altar. This is the judgement of the gevurah [severity, justice] of malkhut [the immanent expression of Godliness on earth]. And the judgement was intensified until it sought to finish everything off, even to uproot the seed of Israel, since they were judged for destruction. And it is written (Ezekiel 10:8), "And by the cherubs there appeared the form of the hand of a human under their wings." And this is [meaning] that the Holy One of Being said to Gavriel, "They are bestowing acts of kindness - these with those - and even if they are liable, they are saved and there shall be a remnant from them." And the reason is because of this trait - since Hashem is One who desires kindness, Hashem desires Israel's acts of kindness. And Hashem recalls that, even if from another angle they are not deserving.

(2) If so, it is fitting for a person to practice this approach. If one sees a person doing evil and angering one - if there is a good side to that person, that they do good to others or have a good trait that they practice appropriately, that side should suffice for one to nullify their anger. And one's heart should be appeased about them; and they should desire kindness and say, "It is enough for me with this goodness that they have." And all the more so [is this the case] with his one's spouse; as our Rabbis explained (Yevamot 63a), "It is enough that they raise our children, and save us from [the] sin [of having no channel for sexuality and expressing it inappropriately]." So should one say about every person, "It is enough for me with x goodness that they did for me," or "that they did with y," or "[with the] good trait z that they have." Thus we will be desiring kindness like Hashem.

(א) הז' - ישוב ירחמנו - הִנֵּה אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג כְּמִדַּת בָּשָׂר וָדָם שֶׁאִם הִכְעִיסוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא מִתְרַצֶּה עִמּוֹ מִתְרַצֶּה מְעַט לֹא כְּאַהֲבָה הַקּוֹדֶמֶת. אֲבָל אִם חָטָא אָדָם וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה, מַעֲלָתוֹ יוֹתֵר גְּדוֹלָה עִם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וְהַיְּנוּ (בְּרָכוֹת לד:) "בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁבַּעֲלֵי תְּשׁוּבָה עוֹמְדִים אֵין צַדִּיקִים גְּמוּרִים יְכוֹלִין לַעֲמוֹד". וְהַטַּעַם כִּדְפֵרְשׁוּ בְּפֶרֶק הַבּוֹנֶה (לְפָנֵינוּ הוּא במְנָחוֹת כט:) בְּעִנְיַן ה לָמָּה הִיא עֲשׂוּיָה כְּאַכְסַדְרָא שֶׁכָּל הָרוֹצֶה לָצֵאת מֵעוֹלָמוֹ יֵצֵא, פֵּרוּשׁ הָעוֹלָם נִבְרָא בַּה' וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּרָא הָעוֹלָם פָּתוֹחַ לְצַד הָרַע וְהַחֵטְא לִרְוָחָה אֵין צַד שֶׁאֵין חֹמֶר וְיֵצֶר הָרַע וּפְגָם כְּמִין אַכְסַדְרָא, אֵינוֹ בַּעַל גְּדָרִים אֶלָּא פִּרְצָה גְּדוֹלָה פְּרוּצָה לְצַד הָרַע לְצַד מַטָּה כָּל מִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה לָצֵאת מֵעוֹלָמוֹ כַּמָּה פִתְחִין לוֹ לֹא יִפְנֶה לְצַד שֶׁלֹּא יִמְצָא צַד חֵטְא וְעָוֹן לִכָּנֵס אֶל הַחִצוֹנִים, וְהִיא פְתוּחָה מִלְּמַעְלָה שֶׁאִם יָשֻׁב יְקַבְּלוּהוּ. וְהִקְשׁוּ וּלְהַדְּרוּהוּ בְּהַאי, לֹא מִסְתַּיְּעָא מִלְּתָא, רָצוּ בָּזֶה שֶׁהַשָּׁב בִּתְשׁוּבָה לֹא יַסְפִּיק לוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִגְדָר בֶּעָוֹן כְּגֶדֶר הַצַּדִּיקִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַצַּדִּיקִים שֶׁלֹּא חָטְאוּ גָּדֵר מְעַט יַסְפִּיק אֲלֵיהֶם אָמְנָם הַחוֹטֵא שֶׁחָטָא וָשָׁב לֹא יַסְפִּיק לוֹ גָּדֵר מְעַט אֶלָּא צָרִיךְ לְהַגְדִּיר עַצְמוֹ כַּמָּה גְּדָרִים קָשִׁים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֹתוֹ הַגָּדֵר הַמְעַט כְּבַר נִפְרָץ פַּעַם אַחַת אִם יִתְקָרֵב שָׁם בְּקַל יְפַתֵּהוּ יִצְרוֹ אֶלָּא צָרִיךְ לְהִתְרַחֵק הֶרְחֵק גָּדוֹל מְאֹד, וְלָזֶה לֹא יִכָּנֵס דֶּרֶךְ פֶּתַח הָאַכְסַדְרָה שֶׁהַפִּרְצָה שָׁם אֶלָּא יִתְעַלֶּה וְיִכָּנֵס דֶּרֶךְ פֶּתַח צַר וַיַּעֲשֶׂה כַּמָּה צָרוֹת וְסִגּוּפִים לְעַצְמוֹ וְיִסְתֹּם הַפְּרָצוֹת.

(ב) וּמִטַּעַם זֶה בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁבַּעֲלֵי תְּשׁוּבָה עוֹמְדִים וְכוּ' מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא נִכְנְסוּ דֶּרֶךְ פֶּתַח הַצַּדִּיקִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ עִם הַצַּדִּיקִים, אֶלָּא נִצְטַעֲרוּ וְעָלוּ דֶּרֶךְ פֶּתַח הָעֶלְיוֹן וְסִגְּפוּ עַצְמָן וְנִבְדְּלוּ מִן הַחֵטְא יוֹתֵר וְיוֹתֵר מִן הַצַּדִּיקִים לְכָךְ עָלָו וְעָמְדוּ בְּמַדְרֵגָה ה' הֵיכָל חֲמִישִׁי שֶׁבְּגַן עֵדֶן דְּהַיְנוּ גַּג הַהֵ"א וְצַדִּיקִים בְּפֶתַח הַהֵ"א בִּכְנִיסַת הָאַכְסַדְרָא וְלָזֶה כַּאֲשֶׁר הָאָדָם יַעֲשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה דְּהַיְנוּ תָּשׁוּב ה' אֶל מְקֹמָהּ, וְיַחְזִיר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שְׁכִינָתוֹ עָלָיו אֵינוֹ שָׁב כְּאַהֲבָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא יוֹתֵר וְיוֹתֵר. וְהַיְּנוּ "יָשׁוּב יְרַחֲמֵנוּ" שֶׁיּוֹסִיף רַחֲמִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וִיתַקְּנֵם וִיקָרְבֵם יוֹתֵר.

(ג) וְכָךְ הָאָדָם צָרִיךְ לְהִתְנַהֵג עִם חֲבֵרוֹ לֹא יִהְיֶה נוֹטֵר אֵיבָה מֵהַכַּעַס הַקּוֹדֵם אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיִּרְאֶה שֶׁחֲבֵרוֹ מְבַקֵּשׁ אַהֲבָתוֹ יִהְיֶה לוֹ בְּמַדְרֵגַת רַחֲמִים וְאַהֲבָה יוֹתֵר וְיוֹתֵר מִקֹּדֶם וְיֹאמַר הֲרֵי הוּא לִי כְּבַעֲלֵי תְּשׁוּבָה שֶּׁאֵין צַדִּיקִים גְּמוּרִים יְכוֹלִים לַעֲמֹד אֶצְלָם וִיקָרְבֵהוּ תַּכְלִית קֻרְבָה יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶׁמְּקָרֵב אֹתָם שֶׁהֵם צַדִּיקִים גְּמוּרִים עִמּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא חָטְאוּ אֶצְלוֹ:

(1) The seventh: "Hashem will again have compassion on us" - behold, the Holy One of Being does not follow the trait of flesh and blood that if someone angers us - if we are appeased by them, we are a little appeased, but our love is not like the previous love we had for them. Rather if a person did wrong and they repent, they are held in greater esteem by the Holy One of Being than before. And this is the meaning of "In the place that ba'alei teshuvah [masters of return] stand, even completely righteous ones cannot stand" (Berakhot 34b).

The reason is like they explained in the chapter HaBoneh [Menachot 29b] regarding why the letter hey is made like a portico: "Such that the one that wants to exit from Hashem's world may exit." The explanation is that the world was created with a hey and the Holy One of Being created the world wide open to the side of evil and wrongdoing. There is no side that does not have materialism, the evil impulse and such defects - like a type of portico. It does not have fences but rather has a large breach, open towards the side of evil, to the bottom side. How many openings are there for anyone who wants to exit from his world! They cannot turn to a side that they will not find a side of wrongdoing and bad deeds to go out to the evil forces! But it is also open from above; so that if he repents, he will be accepted. And they asked, "Let him be taken back through the bottom!" They answered, "the matter will not help." They meant that one who repents will not suffice to be fenced from evil with a fence like the fence of the righteous ones that did no wrong - a small fence suffices for them, however a small fence will not suffice for the wrongdoer that did wrong and repented. Rather, they need to fence themselves with several difficult fences, since they already breached the small fence once. If they even approach there, their impulse seduces them easily. Rather they need to distance themselves with a very great distancing. And for this reason, they do not enter through the opening of the portico, where the breach is. Rather, they ascend and enter through the small opening- they make several difficulties and mortifications for themselves and close the breaches.

(2) And from this reason, "In the place that penitents stand, etc." - because they do not enter through the opening of the righteous ones, so that they will be counted with the righteous ones. Rather, they trudge and climb through the higher opening, and mortify themselves and become much more separated from wrongdoing than those for whom being good is easy!

So they climbed and stood on the level of hey (the numerical equivalent of which is five) - the fifth chamber in the Garden of Eden, which is the roof of the hey - whereas the righteous ones are at the opening of the hey, at the entrance of the portico. And so, when a person undergoes repentance (teshuvah) - which is "hey returns (teshuv hey) to its place" - and the Holy One of Being is Present to them, Hashem does not come back with a love only like the first love, but rather much stronger! And this is the meaning of "Hashem will again have mercy on us" - that Hashem will add mercy to Israel and refine them more and bring them closer.

(3) And so we should act towards each other. We should not carry a grudge. But rather when one sees that one's fellow seeks love one should have a level of mercy and love that is much more than before. And he should say, "Behold, for me they are like ba'alei teshuvah that the completely righteous cannot stand next to them." And one should bring that one closest - closer than one brings those that are completely righteous and that have not done one wrong.

(א) הח' - יכבש עונותינו - הֲרֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִדָּה זוֹ וְהִיא סוֹד כְּבִישַׁת הֶעָוֹן. כִּי הִנֵּה הַמִּצְוֹת הִיא כְפֹרַחַת עָלָתָה נִצָּהּ וּבוֹקֵעַ וְעוֹלֶה עַד אֵין תַּכְלִית לִכְנֹס לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרַךְ אָמְנָם הָעֲוֹנוֹת אֵין לָהֶם כְּנִיסָה שָׁם ח"ו אֶלָּא כֹּבְשָׁם שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ כְּדִכְתִיב (תְּהִלִּים ה, ה) "לֹא יְגֻרְךָ רָע" - לֹא יָגוּר בִּמְגוּרְךָ רָע אִם כֵּן אֵין הֶעָוֹן נִכְנָס פְּנִימָה. וּמִטַּעַם זֶה "שְׂכַר מִצְוָה בְּהַאי עָלְמָא לֵיכָּא" (קִדּוּשִׁין לט.) מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרַךְ וְהַאֵיךְ יִתֵּן לוֹ מִמַּה שֶׁלְּפָנָיו שָׂכָר רוּחָנִי בָּעוֹלָם גַּשְׁמִי וַהֲרֵי כָּל הָעוֹלָם אֵינוֹ כְּדַאי לְמִצְוָה אַחַת וּלְקוֹרַת רוּחַ אֲשֶׁר לְפָנָיו. וּמִטַּעַם זֶה לֹא יִקַּח שֹׁחַד שֶׁל מִצְוֹת, הַמָּשָׁל בָּזֶה, אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אוֹמֵר עָשָׂה אַרְבָּעִים מִצְוֹת וְעֶשֶׂר עֲבֵרוֹת נִשְׁאֲרוּ שְׁלֹשִׁים מִצְוֹת וְיֵלְכוּ עֶשֶׂר בְּעֶשֶׂר חַס וְשָׁלוֹם אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ צַדִּיק גָּמוּר וְעָשָׂה עֲבֵרָה אַחַת דּוֹמֶה לְפָנָיו כְּאִלּוּ שָׂרַף אֶת הַתּוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה חֹבוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יְקַבֵּל שְׂכַר כָּל מִצְוֹתָיו. וְזֶה חֶסֶד גָּדוֹל שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עִם הַצַּדִּיקִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמִּצְוֹת חֲשׁוּבוֹת מְאֹד וּמִתְעַלּוֹת עַד לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרַךְ, וְהַאֵיךְ יְנַכֶּה מֵהֶן בִּשְׁבִיל הָעֲבֵרוֹת כִּי שְׂכַר הָעֲבֵרָה הוּא מֵחֵלֶק הַגֵּיהִנֹּם - מֵהַנִּבְזֶה, וְהַמִּצְוֹת שְׂכָרָן מֵהַנִּכְבָּד זִיו שְׁכִינָה, הַאֵיךְ יְנַכֶּה אֵלּוּ בְּצַד אֵלּוּ אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גּוֹבֶה חוֹב הָעֲבֵרוֹת וּמַשְׂכִּיר שְׂכַר כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת. וְהַיְּנוּ יִכְבֹּשׁ עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁאֵין הָעֲוֹנוֹת מִתְגַּבְּרִים לְפָנָיו כְּמִצְוֹת אֶלָּא כּוֹבֵשׁ אֹתָם שֶׁלֹּא יִתְעַלּוּ וְלֹא יִכָּנְסוּ עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁהוּא מַשְׁגִּיחַ עַל דַּרְכֵי אִישׁ הַטּוֹב וְהָרָע עִם כָּל זֶה הַטּוֹב אֵינוֹ כּוֹבְשׁוֹ אֶלָּא פּוֹרֵחַ וְעוֹלֶה עַד לִמְאֹד וְנִכְלָל מִצְוָה בְּמִצְוָה וְנִבְנֶה מִמֶּנּוּ בִּנְיָן וּלְבוּשׁ נִכְבָּד וַעֲוֹנוֹת אֵין לָהֶם סְגֻלָּה זוֹ אֶלָּא כּוֹבֵשׁ אֹתָם שֶׁלֹּא יַצְלִיחוּ הַצְלָחָה זוֹ וְלֹא יִכָּנְסוּ פְּנִימָה.

(ב) אַף מִדָּה זוֹ צָרִיךְ הָאָדָם לְהִתְנַהֵג בָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִכְבֹּשׁ טוֹבַת חֲבֵרוֹ וַיִּזְכּוֹר רָעָתוֹ שֶׁגְמָלָהוּ אֶלָּא אַדְּרַבָּה יִכְבֹּשׁ הֵרַע וַיִּשְׁכָּחֵהוּ וְיַזְנִיחֵהוּ וְלֹא יָגוּר בִּמְגוּרוֹ רָע וְתִהְיֶה הַטּוֹבָה סְדוּרָה תָּמִיד לְפָנָיו וְיִזְכֹּר לוֹ הַטּוֹבָה וְיַגְבִּיר לוֹ עַל כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים שֶׁעָשָׂה לוֹ וְלֹא יְנַכֶּה בְּלִבּוֹ וְיֹאמַר אִם עָשָׂה לִי טוֹבָה הֲרֵי עָשָׂה לִי רָעָה וְיִשְׁכַּח הַטּוֹבָה לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה כֵן אֶלָּא בְּרָעָה יִתְרַצֶּה כָּל דֶּרֶךְ רִצּוּי שֶׁיּוּכַל וְהַטּוֹבָה אֶל יַזְנִיחָהּ לְעוֹלָם מִבֵּין עֵינָיו וְיַעֲלִים עֵינוֹ מִן הָרָעָה כָּל מַה שֶׁיּוּכַל כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כּוֹבֵשׁ עֲוֹנוֹת כִּדְפֵרַשְׁתִּי:

Elul 7 (Thursday, Aug 27)

(1) The eighth: "Hashem subdues our bad deeds" - behold the Holy One of Being acts with Israel with this trait, and that is the secret of the subduing of evil. As behold the commandment, 'it is like when it blossoms, its bud arises' and it pierces and climbs until no end, to enter in front of Hashem, Blessed Be. But the iniquities, however, do not have passage there, has v'shalom. Rather, Hashem suppresses them, such that they do not enter - as it is written (Psalms 5:5), "evil does not dwell with You (yegurcha)"; evil shall not dwell with You (megurcha)."

If so, the bad deeds do not enter inside. And for this reason, "There is no reward for a mitzvah in this world" (Kiddushin 39a) - as the mitzvot are in front of Hashem, Blessed Be. And how can Hashem give from that which remains in Hashem's presence - a spiritual reward - in the material world? And behold, the entire world is not worth one mitzvah and the spiritual pleasure of it in the presence of Hashem. And for this reason, Hashem does not take the bribe of mitzvot.

A mashal: the Holy One of Being does not say, "They did forty commandments and ten sins; there remain thirty and the ten go with the ten" - has v'shalom! Rather, even if they were a completely righteous one and they committed one sin, it is the same in front of Hashem as if they burned the entire Torah! Let one satisfy that debt and afterward they can receive the reward for all of their commandments. Yet this is a great kindness that the Holy One of Being does with the righteous ones - that he does not reduce the reward, as the commandments are very important and climb until they reach the divine Presence, Blessed Be. And how could Hashem reduce from them on account of wrongdoings - as the repayment of wrongs is from the share of Gehinom, from the disdained; whereas the reward of the mitzvot is from the honoured, the radiance of the Shechina!

How could these be reduced on account of those? Rather, the Holy One of Being collects the debt of the wrongdoings and pays the reward of all of the mitzvot. And this is "Hashem subdues our bad deeds" - that the bad deeds do not intensify in front of Hashem, like the mitzvot do. Rather Hashem suppresses them that they should not rise and not enter - even as Hashem is supervising over the ways of a humans, good and bad. Nonetheless, Hashem does not suppress the good, but rather it blossoms and climbs until it grows massively! And so one mitzvah is combined with another until a great structure is built, and a fine garment [for the soul]. But wrongdoings do not have this special quality, but Hashem rather suppresses them, that they should not gain entrance to the divine Presence.

(2) A human also needs to practice this trait - to not suppress the good of their fellow and remember the evil they did. Rather, just the opposite - they should suppress the evil, forget it and neglect it, and 'evil shall not dwell in their home.' And the good should always be ordered in front of them, and they should remember their fellow's good. And they should intensify it over all of the deeds that they have done to them. And they should not reduce that in their heart, and say, "If the did me good, behold they also did me evil," and forget the good. One should not do this. Rather, they should be appeased in any way of appeasement possible. And they should never neglect the good from being between their eyes; and avert their eyes from the evil as much as they can, in the way that the Holy One of Being suppresses their wrongdoings as I have explained.

(א) הט' - ותשליך במצלות ים כל חטאותם - זוֹ מִדָּה טוֹבָה לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁהֲרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חָטְאוּ מְסָרָם בְּיַד פַּרְעֹה וְשָׁבוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה לָמָּה יַעֲנִישׁ פַּרְעֹה וְכֵן סַנְחֵרִיב וְכֵן הָמָן וְדוֹמֵיהֶם אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַחֵם בִּלְבַד לוֹמַר שָׁבוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה אִם כֵּן לֹא יִהְיֶה לָהֶם עוֹד רָעָה אִם כֵּן יִסְתַּלֵּק הָמָן מֵעֲלֵיהֶם אוֹ פַרְעֹה אוֹ סַנְחֵרִיב זֶה לֹא יַסְפִּיק אֶלָּא יָשׁוּב עֲמַל הָמָן עַל רֹאשׁוֹ וְכֵן פַּרְעֹה וְכֵן סַנְחֵרִיב וְהַטַּעַם לְהַנְהָגָה זוֹ הִיא בְּסוֹד (וַיִּקְרָא טז, כב): "וְנָשָׂא הַשָּׂעִיר עָלָיו אֶת כָּל עֲוֹנֹתָם אֶל אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה" וּפֵרוּשׁוֹ שֶׁהַשָּׂעִיר נוֹשֵׂא עֲוֹנוֹת מַמָּשׁ, וְזֶה קָשֶׁה מְאֹד וְכִי יִשְׂרָאֵל חָטְאוּ וְהַשָּׂעִיר נוֹשֵׂא. אֶלָּא הַמִּדָּה הִיא כָּךְ הָאָדָם מִתְוַדֶּה וְכַוָּנָתוֹ בַּוִּדּוּי לְקַבֵּל עָלָיו טָהֳרָה כְּעִנְיָן שֶׁאָמַר דָּוִד (תְּהִלִּים נא, ד): "הֶרֶב כַּבְּסֵנִי מֵעֲוֹנִי" וְכֵן הוּא אֲמָרֵנוּ "מְרוֹק בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים" אֵינוֹ מִתְפַּלֵּל אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ יִסּוּרִים קַלִּים שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה בָּהֶם בִּטּוּל תּוֹרָה. וְזֶה שֶׁאוֹמְרִים "אֲבָל לֹא עַל יְדֵי יִסּוּרִים רָעִים" וְכָךְ הוּא מְכַוֵּן בִּהְיוֹתוֹ אוֹמֵר "וְאַתָּה צַדִּיק עַל כָּל הַבָּא עָלַי" מַמָּשׁ הוּא מְקַבֵּל יִסּוּרִים בְּסֵבֶר פָּנִים יָפוֹת לְהִתְכַּפֵּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ עֲוֹנוֹת שֶׁיִּסּוּרִים מְמָרְקִים אוֹ מִיתָה מְמָרֶקֶת. וְכָךְ הִיא הַמִּדָּה מִיַּד שֶׁזֶּה מִתְוַדֶּה בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ וּפֵרְשׁוּ בַּזֹּהַר בְּפָרָשַׁת פְּקוּדֵי (דַּף רסב:) שֶׁהוּא חֵלֶק סמא"ל כְּעֵין הַשָּׂעִיר, מַהוּ חֶלְקוֹ שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גּוֹזֵר עָלָיו יִסּוּרִים וּמִיַּד מִזְדַּמֵּן שָׁם סמא"ל וְהוֹלֵךְ וְגוֹבֶה חוֹבוֹ וַהֲרֵי נוֹשֵׂא הַשָּׂעִיר הָעֲוֹנוֹת שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ רְשׁוּת לִגְבּוֹת חוֹבוֹ וְיִשְׂרָאֵל מִתְטַהֲרִים וְהִנֵּה הַכֹּל יִתְגַּלְגֵּל עַל סמא"ל, וְהַטַּעַם שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גָּזַר עַל עוֹלָמוֹ שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה כֵן יִתְבַּטֵּל, וְזֶה טַעַם "וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה תַּהֲרֹגוּ" (וַיִּקְרָא כ, טו) וְכֵן הָאֶבֶן שֶׁל מִצְוַת הַנִּסְקָלִין וְהַסַּיִף שֶׁל מִצְוַת הַנֶּהֱרָגִין טְעוּנִין קְבוּרָה (סַנְהֶדְרִין מה:) לְבַטֵּל מְצִיאוּתָם וְכֹחָם אַחַר שֶׁיִּגְמֹר דִּינָם.

(ב) וַהֲרֵי בָזֶה מַמָּשׁ סוֹד הַצֶּלֶם שֶׁל נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר נִמְסְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיַד מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל "רֵישָׁא דִּי דַהֲבָא" (דָּנִיֵּאל ב, לב) נִכְנַע הַהוּא רֵישָׁא וְנִמְסְרוּ בְּיַד פָּרַס שֶׁהֵן "חֲדוֹהִי וּדְרָעוֹהִי דִּי כְסַף" וְכֵן נִדְחוּ אֵלּוּ מִפְּנֵי אֵלּוּ עַד שֶׁיָּרְדוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְ"רַגְלוֹהִי מִנְּהֵון דִּי פַרְזֶל וּמִנְּהֵון דִּי חֲסַף" (שָׁם, לג) וּמַה יִהְיֶה תַּכְלִית הַטּוֹב בַּסּוֹף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַעֲמִידָם וְעוֹשֶׂה בָּהֶם דִּין כְּדִכְתִיב (דְּבָרִים לב, כג): "חִצַּי אֲכַלֶּה בָם" חִצַּי כָּלִים וְיִשְׂרָאֵל אֵינָם כָּלִים "בֵּאדַיִן דָּקוּ כַּחֲדָא דַהֲבָא כַּסְפָּא וּנְחָשָׁא וְכוּ'" (שָׁם, לה) הִנֵּה בַּהַתְחָלָה כְּתִיב (שם, לד) "וּמְחָת לְצַלְמָא עַל רַגְלוֹהִי" אֵין מִכָּל הַצֶּלֶם אֶלָּא רַגְלָיו שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְבַּטֵּל כֹּחָם וְעָבְרוּ רֹאשׁ וּדְרָעוֹהִי וּמְעוֹהִי וְעִם כָּל זֶה בַּסּוֹף דָּקוּ כַּחֲדָא, עָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהַעֲמִיד סמא"ל וְהָרְשָׁעִים עוֹשֵׂי מַעֲשָׂיו וּפְעֻלּוֹתָיו וַיַּעֲשֶׂה בָהֶם הַדִּין. וְהַיְּנוּ " וְתַשְׁלִיךְ בִּמְצֻלוֹת יָם כָּל חַטֹּאותָם " , יֵרָצֶה הִשְׁלִיךְ כֹּחַ הַדִּין לְהַפִּיל עַל יְדֵי אֵלּוּ שֶׁהֵם מְצוּלוֹת יָם "וְהָרְשָׁעִים כַּיָּם נִגְרָשׁ כִּי הַשְׁקֵט לֹא יוּכָל וַיְגָרְשׁוּ מֵימָיו רֶפֶשׁ וָטִיט" (יְשַׁעְיָה נז, כ) אֵלּוּ הֵם הָעוֹשִׂים דִּין בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁיָּשׁוּב אַחַר כָּךְ כָּל גְּמוּלָם בְּרֹאשָׁם, וְהַטַּעַם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאַחַר שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל קִבְּלוּ הַדִּין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַחֵם אֲפִלּוּ עַל מַה שֶׁקָּדַם וְתוֹבֵעַ עֶלְבּוֹנָם וְלֹא דַּי אֶלָּא "אֲנִי קָצַפְתִּי מְעָט וְהֵמָּה עָזְרוּ לְרָעָה" (זְכַרְיָה א, טו).

(ג) גַּם בְּמִדָּה זוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהִתְנַהֵג הָאָדָם עִם חֲבֵרוֹ, אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רָשָׁע מְדֻכָּא בְּיִסּוּרִין אַל יִשְׂנָאֵהוּ שֶׁאַחַר שֶׁנִּקְלָה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּאָחִיךָ (מַכּוֹת כג.) וִיקָרֵב הַמְּרוּדִים וְהַנֶּעֱנָשִׁים וִירַחֵם עֲלֵיהֶם וְאַדְרַבָּה יַצִּילֵם מִיַּד אוֹיֵב וְאַל יֹאמַר עֲוֹנוֹ גָּרַם לוֹ אֶלָּא יְרַחֲמֵהוּ בְּמִדָּה זוֹ כִּדְפֵרַשְׁתִּי:

Elul 8 (Friday, Aug 28)

(1) The ninth: "And You will hurl into the depths of the sea all of their sins" - this is a good trait of the Holy One of Being. As behold, Israel did wrong; Hashem delivered them into the hand of Pharaoh, and they repented. Why should he punish Pharaoh? And likewise Sancheriv; and likewise Haman and those similar to them. The Holy One of Being is not only assuaged to say, "They have repented. If so, let them not have any more evil. If so, let Haman withdraw from them," or Pharaoh, or Sancheriv. This does not suffice. Rather, he puts the travail of Haman back on his head; and likewise Pharaoh; and likewise Sancheriv. And the reason for this practice is the secret of "And the goat carries upon him all of their wrongdoings to a desolate land" (Leviticus 16:22). And its explanation is that it carries the actual wrongdoings. But this is very difficult: And shall Israel do wrong and the goat carry it? Rather this trait is like this: A person confesses, and their intention in the confession is to receive purification upon themselves; like the matter that David stated (Psalms 51:4), "Wash me thoroughly from my bad deeds." And so, in our saying, "Purify in Your great mercy," one is only praying that the afflictions be light, such that there not be a hindrance of Torah study; and this is also the intention of that which we say, "But not through bad sufferings."

And so, in the saying, "And You are righteous about all that happens to me" - this is the intention to truly accept suffering with a positive face, in order to atone; as there are bad deeds that only suffering or death purges. And such is the trait: As soon as this one confesses in his prayer - they explained in the Zohar in Parshat Pekudei (p. 262b) that this is the portion of Samael, similar to the goat. What is his portion that the Holy One of Being decreed for him? Sufferings. And Samael immediately arrives there and goes and collects his debt. And behold, this is the goat carrying the wrong deeds- that the Holy One of Being gives him authority to collect his debt, and Israel is purified. But, behold, it all rests upon Samael. And the reason is because the Holy One of Being decreed upon His world, that anyone who does this, will be nullified. And this is the reason of, "and you shall kill the beast" (Leviticus 20:15). And likewise the stone of the commandment of those stoned; and the sword of the commandment of those killed, require burial (Sanhedrin 45b) to nullify their existence and power after their judgement is finished.

(2) And behold, there is actually the secret of the image of Nevuchadnezer in this: Israel was given over to the hand of the king of Babylonia, "the head of gold" (Daniel 2:32). That head was humbled and given over to the hand of Persia, who are "the chest and the arms of silver." And likewise, these were pushed off for those, until Israel descended to "their feet, some of them were iron and some of them were clay" (Daniel 2:33). And what is the good finish? In the end, the Holy One, blessed be He, stands them up and carries out judgement upon them, as it is written (Deuteronomy 32:23), "I will finish My arrows upon them" - My arrows end, but Israel does not end (Sotah 9a). "All at once, the (bronze, silver, gold, etc.) were crushed" (Daniel 2:35). Behold at the beginning, it is written (Daniel 2:34), "and struck the image on its feet" - there is nothing of the image besides its feet, as the power of the head, its arms and its belly had already been nullified. And nonetheless at the end, it was crushed [entirely] as one. In the future the Holy One of Being will stand up Samael and the evildoers that do his deeds and acts, and carry out the judgement upon them. And that is [the meaning of] "and You will hurl into the depths of the sea all of their sins" - it wants [to say], Hashem will hurl the power of judgement to bring it down on the hands of these, who are "the depths of the sea." As it is stated (Isaiah 57:20),"But the wicked are like the troubled sea which cannot rest, whose waters toss up mire and mud" - these are the ones that enact judgement upon Israel, all the payment of whom falls back on their heads. And the reason is because after Israel has received their judgement, the Holy One of Being regrets even about what preceded, and their insult. And it is not enough, but rather, "I was angered slightly, but they assisted for the bad" (Zechariah 1:15).

(3) Also this trait must a person practice with his fellow. Even if he is an evildoer that is plagued with afflictions, he shall not hate him - as once he has been debased, behold he is like your brother (Makkot 23a). And he [should] bring close the downtrodden and punished and have mercy upon them. And just the opposite, he should save them from the hand of the enemy, and he should not say, "It is his wrongdoing that caused it to him." But rather, he should have mercy upon him with this trait, as I have explained.

(א) הי' - תתן אמת ליעקב - מִדָּה זוֹ הִיא, שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מַעֲלָה, אֹתָם הַבֵּינוֹנִיִּים שֶׁאֵינָם יוֹדְעִים לְהִתְנַהֵג לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין וְהֵם נִקְרָאִים יַעֲקֹב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָם מִתְנַהֲגִים אֶלָּא עִם הַנְהָגוֹת אֲמִתִּיּוֹת גַּם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יֵשׁ לוֹ מִדַּת אֱמֶת שֶׁהוּא עַל צַד מְצִיאוּת הַמִּשְׁפָּט הַיֹּשֶׁר, וְאֵלּוּ הֵם הַמִּתְנַהֲגִים בָּעוֹלָם בְּיֹשֶׁר וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג עִמָּהֶם בֶּאֱמֶת מֵרֶחֶם עֲלֵיהֶם עַל צַד הַיֹּשֶׁר וְהַמִּשְׁפָּט.

(ב) גַּם כֵּן הָאָדָם צָרִיךְ לְהִתְנַהֵג עִם חֲבֵרוֹ עַל צַד הַיֹּשֶׁר וְהָאֱמֶת בְּלִי לְהַטּוֹת מִשְׁפַּט חֲבֵרוֹ לְרַחֵם עָלָיו בֶּאֱמֶת כְּמוֹ שֶׁהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ מְרַחֵם עַל הַבְּרִיּוֹת הַבֵּינוֹנִיִּים בְּמִדַּת אֱמֶת לְתַקֵּן אֹתָם:

(1) The tenth: "You shall give truthfulness [be true, be reliable] to Yaakov" - this trait is that in Israel there is such a virtue- even the common people that do not know how to act beyond the letter of the law [like Hasidim], those who are called Yaakov because they only act with truthfulness [simple faithfulness to yiddishkeit]; and also the Holy One of Being has a trait of truthfulness, is the sense of being upright in judgement. And with these who act with uprightness in the world, the Holy One of Being acts with true compassion upon them with regards to upright judgement.

(2) A person must also behave with his fellow from the angle of uprightness and truth, without being biased in judgement regarding one's fellow - to have compassion upon him with truthfulness like Hashem Blessed Be, has mercy upon the average creatures with the trait of truthfulness to heal them.

(א) הי"א - חסד לאברהם - הֵם הַמִּתְנַהֲגִים בָּעוֹלָם לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין כְּאַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ גַּם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג עִמָּהֶם לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין, אֵינוֹ מַעֲמִיד עִמָּהֶם הַדִּין עַל תּוֹקְפוֹ אַף לֹא כְּדֶרֶךְ הַיֹּשֶׁר אֶלָּא נִכְנַס עִמָּהֶם לִפְנִים מִן הַיֹּשֶׁר כְּמוֹ שֶׁהֵם מִתְנַהֲגִים, וְהַיְּנוּ " חֶסֶד לְאַבְרָהָם " הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְנַהֵג בְּמִדַּת חֶסֶד עִם אֹתָם שֶׁהֵם כְּמוֹ אַבְרָהָם בְּהִתְנַהֲגוּת.

(ב) גַּם הָאָדָם עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁעִם כָּל אָדָם יִהְיֶה מִתְנַהֵג בְּצֶדֶק וּבְיֹשֶׁר וּבְמִשְׁפָּט, עִם הַטּוֹבִים וְהַחֲסִידִים תִּהְיֶה הַנְהָגָתוֹ לְפָנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין. וְאִם לִשְׁאָר הָאָדָם הָיָה סַבְלָן קְצָת לְאֵלּוּ יוֹתֵר וְיוֹתֵר, וִירַחֵם עֲלֵיהֶם לִכָּנֵס עִמָּהֶם לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין שֶׁהוּא מִתְנַהֵג בָּהּ עִם שְׁאָר הָאָדָם וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אֵלּוּ חֲשׁוּבִים לְפָנָיו מְאֹד מְאֹד וַחֲבִיבִים לוֹ וְהֵם יִהְיוּ מֵאַנְשֵׁי חֶבְרָתוֹ:

Elul 11 (Monday Aug 31)

(1) The eleventh: "Kindness to Avraham" - these are those who act beyond the requirements of the law in the world, like Avraham, our ancestor; also the Holy One of Being acts with them beyond the requirements of the law. Hashem does not take the law to its full strictness, even in the way of uprightness. Rather, Hashem seeks to go beyond mere uprightness with them, just like they themselves act. And that is "kindness to Avraham" - the Holy One of Being practices the trait of kindness with those that are like Avraham in their behavior.

(2) Also a person - even as they act with righteousness, straightness and justice towards every person - their behavior towards the good and the pious should be beyond the requirements of the law. And if one is a little patient with other people - towards these he should be much more patient, and have compassion upon them; to go with them beyond the requirements of the law that one follows with all other people. And these must be very, very important and beloved to us and should be counted as friends.

(א) הי"ב - אשר נשבעת לאבתינו - יֵשׁ בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁאֵינָם הֲגוּנִים וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְרַחֵם עַל כֻּלָּם וּפֵרְשׁוּ בַּגְּמָרָא (בְּרָכוֹת ז.) "וְחַנֹּתִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר אָחֹן" (שְׁמוֹת לג, יט) אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אוֹצָר זֶה לְאוֹתָם שֶׁאֵינָם הֲגוּנִים יֵשׁ אוֹצַר חִנּוּנִים שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חוֹנֵן וְנוֹתֵן לָהֶם מַתְּנַת חִנָּם לְפִי שֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הֲרֵי יֵשׁ לָהֶם זְכוּת אָבוֹת, אֲנִי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לָאָבוֹת אִם כֵּן עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁאֵינָם הֲגוּנִים יִזְכּוּ בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁהֵם מִזֶּרַע הָאָבוֹת שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּעְתִּי לָהֶם לְפִיכָךְ אַנְהִילֵם וְאַנְהִיגֵם עַד שֶׁיְּתֻקְּנוּ.

(ב) וְכָךְ יִהְיֶה הָאָדָם אַף אִם יִפְגַּע בָּרְשָׁעִים אַל יִתְאַכְזֵר כְּנֶגְדָּם אוֹ יְחָרְפֵם וְכַיּוֹצֵא, אֶלָּא יְרַחֵם עֲלֵיהֶם, וְיֹאמַר סוֹף סוֹף הֵם בְּנֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב, אִם הֵם אֵינָם כְּשֵׁרִים, אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם כְּשֵׁרִים וַהֲגוּנִים, וְהַמְּבַזֶּה הַבָּנִים מְבַזֶּה הָאָבוֹת, אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיִּתְבַּזּוּ אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם עַל יָדִי, וּמְכַסֶּה עֶלְבּוֹנָם וּמְתַקְּנָם כְּפִי כֹחוֹ.

(1) The twelfth: "Which You swore to our ancestors" - there are people that are not proper, and the Holy One of Being still has compassion on all of them. And they explained in the Gemara (Berakhot 7a), "and I will give grace to the one that I give grace" (Exodus 33:19) - "The Holy One of Being said, 'This storehouse is for those that are not proper.'"

There is a storehouse of those given grace that the Holy One, blessed be He, graces and gives them as a free present. As the Holy One, blessed be He, said, "Behold, they have the merit of the ancestors - I swore to the ancestors. Therefore, even if they are not proper, they shall merit because they are from the seed of the fathers to whom I swore. Hence, I will lead them and guide them until they are refined."

(2) And so should a person be if one meets evildoers: One should not be cruel towards them or curse them. Rather, one should have compassion upon them and say, "In the end, they are the children of Avraham, Yitschak and Yaakov. If they are not fit, their ancestors were fit and proper. And one who disgraces the children, disgraces the parents. I do not desire that they be disgraced through me." And one covers their insult and does what's possible to heal them.

(א) הי"ג - מימי קדם - הֲרֵי מִדָּה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּשֶׁתַּמָּה זְכוּת וְכַיּוֹצֵא מַה יַעֲשֶׂה וַהֲרֵי הֵם מִצַּד עַצְמָם אֵינָם הֲגוּנִים, כְּתִיב (יִרְמִיָה ב, ב): "זָכַרְתִּי לָךְ חֶסֶד נְעוּרַיִךְ אַהֲבַת כְּלוּלֹתָיִךְ" מַמָּשׁ זוֹכֵר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יְמֵי קַדְמוֹנִים, אַהֲבָה שֶׁהָיָה מִקֹּדֶם וּמְרַחֵם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבָזֶה יַזְכִּיר לָהֶם כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁעָשׂוּ מִיּוֹם שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ וְכָל מִדּוֹת טוֹבוֹת שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַנְהִיג בָּהֶם עוֹלָמוֹ וּמִכֻּלָּם עוֹשֶׂה סְגֻלָּה לְרַחֵם בִּשְׁבִילָם, וַהֲרֵי זוֹ הַמִּדָּה כּוֹלֶלֶת כָּל הַמִּדּוֹת כֻּלָּם כִּדְפֵרְשׁוּ בָּאִדְרָא (זֹהַר נָשֹׂא קלד:).

(ב) כָּךְ הָאָדָם יְתַקֵּן הַנְהָגָתוֹ עִם בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִמְצָא טַעֲנָה מֵאֵלּוּ הַנִּזְכָּרוֹת יֹאמַר כְּבָר הָיוּ שָׁעָה קֹדֶם שֶׁלֹּא חָטְאוּ וַהֲרֵי אֹתָהּ שָׁעָה אוֹ בְּיָמִים קַדְמוֹנִים הָיוּ כְּשֵׁרִים וְיִזְכֹּר לָהֶם הַטּוֹבָה שֶׁעָשׂוּ בְּקַטְנוּתָם וְיִזְכֹּר לָהֶם אַהֲבַת גְּמוּלֵי מֵחָלָב עַתִּיקֵי מִשָּׁדָיִם וּבָזֶה לֹא יִמָּצֵא אָדָם שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְהֵטִיבוֹ וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַל שְׁלוֹמוֹ וּלְרַחֵם עָלָיו.

(ג) עַד כַּאן הִגִּיעַ שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מִדּוֹת שֶׁבָּהֶן יִהְיֶה הָאָדָם דּוֹמֶה אֶל קוֹנוֹ שֶׁהֵן מִדּוֹת שֶׁל רַחֲמִים עֶלְיוֹנוֹת וּסְגֻלָּתָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הָאָדָם מִתְנַהֵג לְמַטָּה כָּךְ יִּזְכֶּה לִפְתֹּחַ לוֹ מִדָּה עֶלְיוֹנָה מִלְמַעְלָה מַמָּשׁ כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיִּתְנַהֵג כָּךְ מַשְׁפִּיעַ מִלְמַעְלָה וְגוֹרֵם שֶׁאוֹתָהּ הַמִּדָּה תָּאִיר בָּעוֹלָם. וּלְכָךְ אַל יָלֻזוּ מֵעֵינֵי הַשֵּׂכֶל שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מִדּוֹת אֵלּוּ וְהַפָּסוּק לֹא יָסוּף מִפִּיו כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ לְמַזְכֶּרֶת כַּאֲשֶׁר יָבֹא לוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּמִדָּה אַחַת מֵהֶן יִזְכֹּר וְיֹאמַר הֲרֵי דָּבָר זֶה תָּלוּי בְּמִדָּה פְּלוֹנִית אֵינִי רוֹצֶה לָזוּז מִמֶּנָּה שֶׁלֹּא תִתְעַלֵּם וְתִסְתַּלֵּק הַמִּדָּה הַהִיא מִן הָעוֹלָם:

(1) The thirteenth: "From ancient days" - this is the trait that the Holy One of Being has with Israel when their merit runs out. What shall Hashem do - since behold, they are not proper in their own right? It is written (Jeremiah 2:2), "I remembered for you the kindness of your youth, your love as a bride" - the Holy One of Being actually remembers the days of the early ones, the love that Hashem had from before, and has compassion upon Israel.

And through this, Hashem remembers for them all the commandments that they did from the day they were born and all of the good traits with which the Holy One of Being runs His world. And from all of them Hashem has compassion for them. And behold, this trait includes all of the traits entirely, as they explained in the Idra [Zohar, Nasso, p. 134b; apparently a reference to the one emanation of compassion from which all other divine traits flow].

(2) So should a person refine their behavior with people, such that even if one does not find an argument to diffuse anger from those mentioned above, he should say, "There were times in the past when they did no wrong. And behold, that time, or those earlier days, they were good kosher folk." And he should remember for them that good that they did in their childhood, and remember for them the love of the 'ones weaned from milk, removed from the breasts.' And through this, there will not be anyone who will not be thought fit to benefit, to pray for, and to have compassion on.

(3) We have reached the thirteen traits through which a person should resemble the Creator, which are the highest traits of compassion. Just as a person acts below, so too will they merit to open for themselves the highest trait from above - exactly as they act, just so will there be a flow from above. And they will cause that trait to shine in the world. And so one should not let these thirteen traits escape from the eyes of the mind. And one should not stop repeating and contemplating the verse [mentioning the thirteen traits], so that it will be a reminder - when a situation comes to one that one needs to use one of the traits. One will remember and say, "Behold, that thing depends upon trait x; I do not want to move from it, so that this trait does not disappear and retreat from the world."

The Ramak will now focus on Keter beyond the traits of compassion. Ramak will explain Keter in its expressions of humility, self-nullification (bittul ha-yesh) or ego-transcendence, and universal love for all creatures. This will include some discussion of the mystery of the "shiur komah" or the symbolic "head" of divinity, including how to embody Hashem's forehead, eyes, nose, and mouth!

(א) כמה גופי פעולות שהם עיקר ההנהגה: עוֹד, לִהְיוֹת הָאָדָם דּוֹמֶה לְקוֹנוֹ בְּסוֹד מִדַּת הַכֶּתֶר צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בוֹ כַּמָּה גּוּפֵי פְּעֻלּוֹת שֶׁהֵם עִיקָר הַהַנְהָגָה:

(ב) הָרִאשׁוֹנָה - הַכּוֹלֶלֶת הַכֹּל הִיא מִדַּת הָעֲנָוָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא תְּלוּיָה בַּכֶּתֶר שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא מִדָּה עַל כָּל הַמִּדּוֹת וְאֵינָהּ מִתְעַלִּית וּמִתְגָּאָה לְמַעְלָה אָמְנָם יוֹרֶדֶת וּמִסְתַּכֶּלֶת לְמַטָּה תָּדִיר, וְזֶה מִשְּׁנֵי טְעָמִים: הָאֶחָד שֶׁהוּא בּוֹשׁ לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בְּסִבָּתוֹ אֶלָּא מַאֲצִילוֹ מַבִּיט בּוֹ תָּמִיד לְהֵטִיבוֹ וְהוּא מַבִּיט בַּתַּחְתּוֹנִים. כָּךְ הָאָדָם צָרִיךְ שֶׁיֵּבוֹשׁ מִלְּהִסְתַּכֵּל לְצַד מַעְלָה לְהִתְגָּאוֹת אֶלָּא תָּדִיר יִסְתַּכֵּל לְצַד מַטָּה לְהַפְחִית עַצְמוֹ כָּל מַה שֶׁיּוּכַל. וַהֲרֵי הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת הִיא תְּלוּיָה דֶּרֶךְ כְּלָל בָּרֹאשׁ שֶּׁאֵין הָאָדָם מִתְגָּאֶה אֶלָּא בַּהֲרָמַת רֹאשׁוֹ כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה וְהֶעָנִי מַשְׁפִּיל רֹאשׁוֹ לְמַטָּה. וַהֲרֵי אֵין סַבְלָן וְעָנָו כֵּאלֹהֵינוּ בְּמִדַּת הַכֶּתֶר שֶׁהוּא תַּכְלִית הָרַחֲמִים וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס לְפָנָיו שׂוֹם פְּגַם וְלֹא עָוֹן וְלֹא דִּין וְלֹא שׁוּם מִדָּה מוֹנַעַת מִלְּהַשְׁגִּיחַ וּלְהַשְׁפִּיעַ וּלְהֵיטִיב תָּדִיר. כָּךְ צָרִיךְ הָאָדָם שֶׁשּׁוּם סִבָּה שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם לֹא תִּמְנָעֵהוּ מִלְּהֵטִיב וְשׂוּם עָוֹן אוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה בְּנֵי אָדָם בִּלְתִּי הָגוּן לֹא יִכָּנֵס לְפָנָיו כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּעַכְּבֵהוּ מִלְּהֵיטִיב לְאוֹתָם הַצְּרִיכִים טוֹבָתוֹ בְּכָל עֵת וּבְכָל רֶגַע. וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהוּא יֹשֵׁב וְזָן מִקַּרְנֵי רְאֵמִים וְעַד בֵּיצֵי כִנִּים וְאֵינוֹ מְבַזֶּה שׁוּם בְּרִיָּה שֶׁאִלּוּ יְבַזֶּה הַבְּרוּאִים מִפְּנֵי פְחִיתוּתָם לֹא יִתְקַיְּמוּ בָעוֹלָם אֲפִלּוּ רֶגַע, אֶלָּא מַשְׁגִּיחַ וְנוֹתֵן רַחֲמָיו עַל כֻּלָּם. כָּךְ צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הָאָדָם מֵטִיב לַכֹּל וְלֹא יִתְבַּזֶּה שׁוּם נִבְרָא לְפָנָיו אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ בְּרִיָּה קֹלָהּ שֶׁבַּקַּלִּים תִּהְיֶה מְאֹד חֲשׁוּבָה בְעֵינָיו וְיִתֵּן דַּעְתּוֹ עָלֶיהָ וְיֵיטִיב לְכָל הַמִּצְטָרֵךְ אֶל טוֹבָתוֹ, וְזוֹ מִדָּה תְּלוּיָה בַּכֶּתֶר בְּסוֹד הָרֹאשׁ דֶּרֶךְ כְּלָל:

(ג) הַשְּׁנִיָּה - מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ תִדְמֶה לְמַחְשֶׁבֶת הַכֶּתֶר. כְּמוֹ שֶׁאוֹתָהּ הַחָכְמָה לֹא תִּפְסֹק תָּמִיד לַחְשֹׁב מַחֲשָׁבוֹת טוֹבוֹת, וְהָרַע לֹא יִכָּנֵס בָּהּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא רַחֲמִים גְּמוּרִים, וְאֵין שָׁם דִּין וְלֹא שׁוּם קֹשִׁי כְּלָל, כָּךְ הָאָדָם תָּמִיד תִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ פְּנוּיָה מִכָּל דָּבָר מְכֹעָר. וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהִיא סוֹד חָכְמָה תּוֹרָה קְדוּמָה, וְלֹא יֶחְסַר שָׁם סוֹד תּוֹרָה, כָּךְ לֹא יִפְנֶה אֶל שׁוּם פְּנִיָּה חוּץ מִמַּחְשֶׁבֶת הַתּוֹרָה וְלַחְשֹׁב בְּגַדְלוּת הָאֵל וּפְעֻלּוֹתָיו הַטּוֹבוֹת וּלְהֵיטִיב וְכַיּוֹצֵא.

(ד) כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר - לֹא יִכָּנֵס זָר וּבָטֵל בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ, וְזוֹ הָיְתָה מַעֲלַת רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן וַחֲבֵרָיו. וְהִנֵּה כְּשֶׁהִפְרִיד רַבִּי יוֹסֵי מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ מְעָט, כַּמָּה הוֹכִיחוֹ רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בַּזֹהַר בְּפָרָשַׁת וַיַּקְהֵל:

(ה) הַשְּׁלִישִׁית - מִצְחוֹ לֹא יִהְיֶה בוֹ קֹשִׁי כְּלָל, אֶלָּא יִדְמֶה תָּמִיד לְמֵצַח הָרָצוֹן שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת הַכֹּל אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁיִּמְצָא בְּנֵי אָדָם כּוֹעֲסִים יְרַצֵּם וְיַשְׁקִיטֵם בִּרְצוֹנוֹ הַטּוֹב, שֶׁכֵּן מֵצַח הָרָצוֹן הוּא תָּמִיד רוֹצֶה וּמְרַצֶּה הַגְּבוּרוֹת וּמְתַקְּנָם, אַף הוּא יְרַצֶּה הַגִּבּוֹרִים הַמִּתְגַּבְּרִים כַּעֲסָם, וְהוּא יְנַהֲלֵם בְּרָצוֹן טוֹב וִישַׁתֵּף שָׁם חָכְמָה גְּדוֹלָה לְהַשְׁבִּית הַכַּעַס, שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲבֹר הַגְּבוּל וִיקַלְקֵל חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, וְיֵעָשֶׂה דֻּגְמָא לְרָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁהוּא נִמְשָׁךְ מִן הַחָכְמָה הַנִּפְלָאָה בְּמִצְחָא דְעַתִּיקָא וּמִשָּׁם מְרַצֶּה הַכֹּל.

(ו) וְזֶה יִמָּשֵׁךְ לִהְיוֹתוֹ תָּמִיד נֹחַ לַבְּרִיּוֹת, שֶׁאִם מִדּוֹתָיו קָשׁוֹת מִצַּד אֶחָד עִם בְּנֵי אָדָם, לֹא יִתְרַצּוּ מִמֶּנּוּ. וְזֶה טַעַם הַמִּשְׁנֶה כָּל שֶׁרוּחַ הַבְּרִיּוֹת נוֹחָה הֵימֶנּוּ, רוּחַ הַמָּקוֹם נוֹחָה הֵימֶנּוּ:

(ז) הָרְבִיעִית - שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אָזְנָיו נוֹטוֹת תָּמִיד לִשְׁמֹעַ הַטּוֹב, אָמְנָם שֵׁמַע שָׁוְא אוֹ הַמְּגֻנֶּה לֹא יִכָּנֵס בָּהֶם כְּלָל, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁסּוֹד הַאֲזָנָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה אֵין שׁוּם צַעֲקַת דִּין וְלֹא פְּגַם לָשׁוֹן הָרָע נִכְנָס שָׁם, כָּךְ לֹא יַאֲזִין אֶלָּא הַטּוֹבוֹת וְהַדְּבָרִים הַמּוֹעִילִים, וּשְׁאָר דְּבָרִים הַמַּגְבִּירִים כַּעַס לֹא יַאֲזִין אֲלֵיהֶם כְּלָל, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהַנָּחָשׁ וְדִבּוּרוֹ וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ אֵינוֹ נִכְנָס לְמַעְלָה, כָּךְ לֹא יִכָּנֵס אֵלָיו שׁוּם דָּבָר מְגֻנֶּה. וְהַיְּנוּ "לֹא תִשָּׂא שֵׁמַע שָׁוְא" (שְׁמוֹת כג, א) כָּל שֶׁכֵּן שְׁאָר הַמְּגֻנֶּה שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנֵס לְאָזְנוֹ כְּלָל, וְלֹא תִהְיֶה קַשֶּׁבֶת אֶלָּא אֶל הַדְּבָרִים הַטּוֹבִים.

(ח) הַחֲמִישִׁית - עֵינָיו לֹא יִסְתַּכֵּל בָּהֶן כְּלָל בְּשׁוּם דָּבָר מְגֻנֶּה. אָמְנָם תִּהְיֶינָה תָמִיד פְקֻחוֹת לְהַשְׁגִּיחַ וּלְרַחֵם עַל הָאֻמְלָלִים כְּפִי כֹחוֹ, וּכְשֶׁיִּרְאֶה בְּצָרַת עָנִי לֹא יַעֲצִים עֵינָיו כְּלָל, אֶלָּא יִתְבּוֹנֵן בְּדַעְתּוֹ עָלָיו כְּפִי כֹחוֹ וִיעוֹרֵר רַחֲמִים עָלָיו בִּפְנֵי שָׁמַיִם וּבִפְנֵי הַבְּרִיּוֹת. וְיִתְרַחֵק מִכָּל הַשְׁגָּחָה רָעָה, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָעַיִן הָעֶלְיוֹנָה פְּקוּחָה וּמִסְתַּכֶּלֶת מִיַּד אֶל הַטּוֹב:

(ט) הַשִּׁשִּׁית - בְּחֹטְמוֹ מֵעוֹלָם לֹא יִמָּצֵא בוֹ חֲרוֹן אַף כְּלָל, אֶלָּא תָמִיד בְּאַפּוֹ חַיִּים וְרָצוֹן טוֹב וַאֲרִיכוּת אַף, אֲפִלּוּ לְאוֹתָם שֶׁאֵינָם הֲגוּנִים. וְתָמִיד רוֹצֶה לְמַלְּאוֹת רָצוֹן וּלְהָפִיק כָּל שְׁאֵלָה וּלְהַחֲיוֹת כָּל נִדְכֶּה, וּמוֹצִיא מֵחֹטְמוֹ תָמִיד מְחִילַת עָוֹן (וְהַעֲצָרַת) [וְהַעֲבָרַת] פָּשַׁע, וְאֵינוֹ כּוֹעֵס בַּחֹטֵא לוֹ, אֶלָּא מִתְרַצֶּה תָּמִיד וְחָפֵץ חֶסֶד לַעֲשׂוֹת נַחַת רוּחַ לַכֹּל:

(י) הַשְּׁבִיעִית - פָּנָיו תִּהְיֶינָה מְאִירוֹת תָּמִיד וִיקַבֵּל כָּל אָדָם בְּסֵבֶר פָּנִים יָפוֹת, שֶׁכֵּן בְּכֶתֶר עֶלְיוֹן נֶאֱמַר (מִשְׁלֵי טז, טו): "בְּאוֹר פְּנֵי מֶלֶךְ חַיִּים" וְאֵין שׁוּם אֹדֶם וְדִין נִכְנָס שָׁם כְּלָל, כָּךְ אוֹר פָּנָיו לֹא יְשֻׁנֶּה וְכָל הַמִּסְתַּכֵּל בָּהֶם לֹא יִמְצָא אֶלָּא שִׂמְחָה וְסֵבֶר פָּנִים וְשׁוּם סִבָּה לֹא תַטְרִידֵהוּ מִזֶּה כְּלָל:

(יא) הַשְּׁמִינִית - פִּיו לֹא יוֹצִיא אֶלָּא טוֹבָה, וְגִזְרַת אֲמָרָיו תּוֹרָה וַהֲפָקַת רָצוֹן טוֹב תָּמִיד, וְלֹא יוֹצִיא מִפִּיו דָּבָר מְגֻנֶּה וְלֹא קְלָלָה וְלֹא רֹגֶז כַּעַס כְּלָל וְלֹא דְּבָרִים בְּטֵלִים, וְיִהְיֶה דּוֹמֶה לְאוֹתוֹ הַפֶּה הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִסְתָּם כְּלָל, וְלֹא יִמְנַע טוֹב תָּמִיד, וְלָכֵן צָרִיךְ שֶׁלֹּא יֶחֱשֶׁה מִלְּדַבֵּר טוֹבָה עַל הַכֹּל וּלְהוֹצִיא מִפִּיו טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה תָמִיד.

(יב) הֲרֵי אֵלֶּה שְׁמֹנֶה מִדּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְכֻלָּן תַּחַת דֶּגֶל הָעֲנָוָה שֶׁכֻּלָּן לְמַעְלָה בַּכֶּתֶר בָּאֵבָרִים הָעֶלְיוֹנִים. וּבָעֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה הָאָדָם לְהִתְקָרֵב לְמַעְלָה לְהִדָּמוֹת אֵלָיו לִפְתֹּחַ מְקוֹרוֹתָיו אֶל הַתַּחְתּוֹנִים צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּלֵּם בִּשְׁנֵי פְרָקִים אֵלּוּ.

Elul 12 (Tuesday, Sep 1)

(1) Chapter 2 - Divine Actions That Are The Main Principle Of How The World Is Led:

Further for a person to resemble the Creator from the secret of Keter, they must undertake some actions which are the main principle of how the world is led.

(2) The first: the trait which includes everything- humility - because it rests on Keter, the trait over all of the traits, but it does not raise itself and become proud. Indeed, it goes down and always looks downwards.

This is for two reasons: it is embarrased to look at its Cause, rather its Emanator always looks down to benefit it; and it looks down to the lower ones. So must a person be embarrassed to stare upwards- a sign of pride [in some traditional cultures]. Rather, they must always stare downwards, to diminish oneself as much as possible. And behold, this trait is generally dependent upon the head of a person. As a person only shows their pride with the lifting of the head upwards, whereas the poor person lowers the head downwards. And behold, there is none as tolerant and humble as Hashem with the trait of Keter, who is the epitome of compassion.

There is no defect nor wrongdoing nor judgement nor any other trait that intervenes in front of Hashem, that prevents over-seeing [creatures] and flowing and giving good constantly. So must a person be, that no cause in the world prevents one from giving good; and that no wrongdoing or improper act of people intervenes in front of one in order to block giving good from those that need it at any time and at any instant.

This is just like Hashem, who sits and nourishes 'from the antelope's horns to the lice's eggs,' and does not disgrace any creature. If Hashem were to disdain the creatures because of their smallness, they would not exist in the world even for an instant - but rather Hashem supervises and has compassion for them all; so must a human be, to give good to all and not to hold any creature to be little in his view.

Rather, even the puniest of the puny creatures should be very important in one's eyes, and one should attend to it; and give good to all that need it. This trait is dependent on Keter, and is included in the secret of the "head" [of the divine body].

(3) The second: That one's thought resemble the thought of Keter. Just as that Wisdom (Chochmah) does not ever cease to think good thoughts without evil interference - as it is complete compassion, and there is no judgment there, nor any hardness at all - so should a person's thought be always free from anything ugly [such as that].

Just as it is the secret of the Chochmah of the primordial Torah and it is never without the secret of the Torah; so must one not divert themselves to anything away from the thought of Torah and thinking about the greatness of Hashem and Hashem's actions which are good and beneficial to all, and similar contemplations.

(4) The principle of the thing is that no distractions [from contemplation] should intervene in one's thought. And this was the virtue of Rabbi Shimon (bar Yochai) and his colleagues [the protagonists of the Zohar, who are depicted as wondering ancient Palestine in constant contemplation of the secrets of the Torah] - and behold in the Zohar in Parshat Vayakhel, how much Rabbi Shimon chastised Rabbi Yose when he diverted his thought even a little.

(5) The third: That there not be any hardness in one's forehead at all [i.e. no stubbornness], but it rather resemble the Forehead of will [ratzon, another name for Keter], that wills everything. Even if one finds people angering, one should calm them and quiet them with one's goodwill. As so is the will of the Forehead - always willing, appeasing the gevurot and doing tikkun on them. So too, should one calm the powerful ones (geeborim) that intensify their anger; and should lead them with goodwill and engulf them with great wisdom to quiet the anger so that it not pass the limit and be destructive, has v'shalom. And one should use the model of the Higher Will, which is drawn from the wondrous Wisdom of the Forehead of the Ancient One (Aatika), and appeases all from there.

(6) And one should draw on this to always be agreeable towards the creatures. If one's traits are hard with people in any way they will not be calmed. And this is the explanation of the mishnah (Avot 3:10), "Anyone from whom the spirit of creations find pleasure, from them the spirit of the Omnipresent finds pleasure."

(7) The fourth: That one's ears are always inclined to hear the good. Indeed, a useless or contemptuous report should not enter them at all. In the way that no yelling of judgement nor defect of evil speech enters the Highest Listening, so should one only listen to goodnesses and beneficial things and not listen to the other things that intensify anger at all. And just like the snake, whose speech and his expression do not enter Above, so too must no disgraceful thing enter one. That is the meaning of, "You shall not raise a false report" (Exodus 23:1) - all the more so, should the other contemptible things not enter one's ear at all and it should only listen to good things.

(8) The fifth: One's eyes should not gaze with contempt at any thing at all. Indeed, they should always be open to survey and have compassion upon all the despondent, according to his ability. And when they see the distress of a poor person, they should not shut their eyes at all. Rather, they should contemplate about that one in their mind - according to their ability - and arouse compassion on that one in front of the Heavens and in front of the creatures. And they should distance himself from all observation of evil, in the way that the Highest Eye is open and gazes immediately at the good.

(9) The sixth: That there should never be fury of the nose [in Hebrew a patient person is said to have a long nose, i.e. deep breaths] from their nostrils at all. Rather, that there always be life, goodwill and patience [literally long nose, or slow breaths] in one's nose. And one should always want to fulfill the wants of others, to satisfy every request and to sustain every downtrodden one; and always find forgiveness of wrongdoing and transgression. And they should not get angry with one who sins against them, but rather always be calmed and desire kindness, to create a pleasantness of spirit for all.

(10) The seventh: One's face should always be shining and should receive every person with a pleasant countenance. As so it is stated about the Highest Keter, "There is life in the light of the face of the King" (Proverbs 16:15); and no redness [anger] or judgement enters there at all. So should the light of the face not be changed; anyone who gazes at such a one will only find joy and a pleasant countenance. No cause whatsoever should disrupt one from this mindfulness at all.

(11) The eighth: One's mouth should only bring out good; and one's statements should be crafted of Torah and inspire good will. And one should not bring out a disgraceful thing, a curse or the fury of anger from the mouth at all. And one should be similar to that Highest Mouth that never closes at all, and never prevents the good. And therefore, one must not be silent from speaking good about everything, and to always bring out goodness and blessing from the mouth.

(12) Behold, these are eight good traits; and they are all under the masthead of humility as they are above in Keter in the Highest Limbs. And at the time that a person wants to approach the Above, to resemble Hashem - to open the divine blessings to those below - they must attain perfection in these two chapters.

(א) מתי צריך להתנהג במדות הכתר: אָמְנָם יָדַעְנוּ שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לְהִתְנַהֵג בְּאֵלּוּ הַמִּדּוֹת תָּמִיד, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ מִדּוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת שֶׁהָאָדָם צָרִיךְ לְהִשְׁתַּלֵּם בָּהֶן וְהֵן מֵהַגְּבוּרוֹת הַתַּחְתּוֹנוֹת, כַּאֲשֶׁר נְבָאֵר. אֲבָל יֵשׁ יָמִים יְדוּעִים שֶׁאֵין הַגְּבוּרוֹת פּוֹעֲלוֹת וְאֵין בְּנֵי אָדָם צְרִיכִים אֲלֵיהֶן, לְפִי שֶׁהַכֶּתֶר שׁוֹלֵט בָּהֶם, אוֹ שָׁעוֹת שֶׁהַכֶּתֶר מִתְבַּקֵּשׁ, אָז צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּכָל אֵלֶּה הַמִּדּוֹת שֶּׁזָּכַרְנוּ.

(ב) אָמְנָם שְׁאָר הַמִּדּוֹת עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁהֵם צֹרֶךְ עֲבוֹדָה בִּשְׁעָתָן, אֵין עֵת עַתָּה לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶן, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאוֹר הַכֶּתֶר מְבַטְּלָן. וְכָךְ הוּא לֹא יִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּאוֹתָן הַמִּדּוֹת הַקָּשׁוֹת, כְּגוֹן שַׁבָּת שֶׁהָעוֹלָם מִתְתַּקֵּן בְּסוֹד עֹנֶג וְאֵין דָּנִין בְּשַׁבָּת, אָז יִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּמִדּוֹת אֵלּוּ כֻּלָּן, כְּדֵי לִפְתֹּחַ הַמְּקוֹרוֹת הָעֶלְיוֹנִים. שֶׁאִלּוּ יְכַוֵּן בְּכַוָּנָתוֹ אֶל אוֹרוֹת הַכֶּתֶר בִּתְפִלּוֹתָיו וְהוּא יִפְעֹל בִּפְעֻלּוֹתָיו בְּהֵפֶךְ, הֵיאַךְ יִפְתַּח מְקוֹר הַכֶּתֶר, וַהֲרֵי הוּא דוֹחֵהוּ מַמָּשׁ בְּמַעֲשָׂיו. וַהֲרֵי הַדְּבָרִים קַל וָחֹמֶר, אִם הַסְּפִירוֹת הָעֶלְיוֹנוֹת מַגְבִּירוֹת הַדִּינִים הַקְּדוֹשִׁים וְהַכַּעַס, הַקָּדוֹשׁ לֹא יִשְׁרֶה הַכֶּתֶר בָּהֶן, אִם הָאָדָם יַגְבִּיר הַכַּעַס הַחִיצוֹנִי אֲפִלּוּ יִהְיֶה לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, כָּל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁרֶה הַכֶּתֶר וְאוֹרוֹ עָלָיו. וּמַה גַּם שֶׁהוּא בָּא לְעוֹרְרוֹ עַל הַמִּדּוֹת הָעֶלְיוֹנוֹת, וְהֵן אוֹמְרוֹת כַּמָּה עַזּוּת פָּנִים יֵשׁ בּוֹ, אֵין אוֹר הַכֶּתֶר מִתְגַּלֶּה בָּנוּ, מִפְּנֵי דִינֵנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְהַטָּהוֹר, וְהוּא רוֹצֶה לְגַלּוֹתוֹ מָלֵא כַּעַס וּפְעֻלּוֹת מְגֻנּוֹת חִצוֹנוֹת.

(ג) לְכָךְ צָרִיךְ הָאָדָם בְּיָמִים טוֹבִים וּבַשַּׁבָּתוֹת וּבְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וּבִשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּה וּשְׁעוֹת עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁאֵינָן שָׁעוֹת הַגְּבוּרוֹת, אֶלָּא שָׁעוֹת גִּלּוּי הָרָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן, לְכוֹנֵן דֵּעוֹתָיו בְּמִדּוֹת הָאֵלּוּ כֻלָּן. וּשְׁאָר שָׁעוֹת יִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּמִדּוֹת הַנִּשְׁאָרוֹת לַעֲבוֹדַת ה', לֹא הַמְּגֻנֶּה מֵהֶן, שֶּׁאֵין לוֹ עֵת לִשְׁלוֹט בָּאָדָם אֶלָּא לְרָעָתוֹ, כַּאֲשֶׁר נְבָאֵר. וְאָז כַּאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּמִדּוֹת אֵלּוּ יִהְיֶה נָכוֹן וּבָטוּחַ שֶׁיִּפְתַּח הַמְּקוֹרוֹת הָעֶלְיוֹנִים. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ כָּל אָדָם לְהַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ בְּאֵלּוּ הַמִּדּוֹת מְעַט מְעָט, וְהָעִקָּרִית שֶׁיִּתְפֹּס, שֶׁהִיא מַפְתֵּחַ הַכֹּל - הָעֲנָוָה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא רֹאשׁ לְכֻלָּן, בְּחִינָה רִאשׁוֹנָה בַּכֶּתֶר, וְתַחְתֶּיהָ יֻכְלַל הַכֹּל.

(ד) וְהִנֵּה עִיקָר הָעֲנָוָה הוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִמְצָא בְּעַצְמוֹ עֶרֶךְ כְּלָל, אֶלָּא יַחְשֹׁב שֶׁהוּא הָאַיִן, וּכְמַאֲמַר הֶעָנָיו (שְׁמוֹת טז, ז): "וְנַחְנוּ מָה כִּי תַלִּינוּ עָלֵינוּ". עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הוּא בְעֵינָיו הַבְּרִיָּה הַשְּׁפֵלָה שֶׁבְּכָל הַנִּבְרָאִים, וּבָזוּי וּמָאוּס מְאֹד. וְכַאֲשֶׁר יִיגַע תָּמִיד לְהַשִּׂיג הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת, כָּל שְׁאָר הַמִּדּוֹת נִגְרָרוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכֶּתֶר הַמִּדָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ, שֶׁנִּרְאֶה עַצְמוֹ לְאַיִן לִפְנֵי מַאֲצִילוֹ, כָּךְ יָשִׂים הָאָדָם עַצְמוֹ אַיִן מַמָּשׁ, וְיַחְשֹׁב הֶעְדֵּרוֹ טוֹב מְאֹד מִן הַמְּצִיאוּת, וּבָזֶה יִהְיֶה לְנֹכַח הַמְּבַזִּים אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הַדִּין עִמָּהֶם, וְהוּא הַנִּבְזֶה אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו הָאָשָׁם, וְזוֹ תִהְיֶה סִבַּת קִנְיַן הַמִּדּוֹת הַטּוֹבוֹת:

Elul 13 (Wednesday, Sep 2)

(1) When must one practice the traits of Keter? We know that it is impossible to always practice these traits, as there are other traits in which a person must attain perfection - and those are the lower gevurot, as we will explain. However, there are specific days that the gevurot are not active and people do not need to deal with them, as Keter rules over them; and times that embodying Keter is required. Then one must use all of these traits that we mentioned.

(2) Yet with the other traits - even if they are needed in one's avodah at appropriate times - the times just mentioned are not the time to use them, as the light of Keter would nullify them; and hence one should not use those hard traits.

For example, one should not use these traits on Shabbat - when the world is refined with the secret of delight, and so we do not judge cases on Shabbat. Then one should use all of the these traits [of forgiveness, compassion, kindness and humility] to open the Highest Sources. As if one focuses their concentration on the lights of Keter in their prayers but they act the opposite with their actions, how will they open the Source of Keter?

Actually they push it off with their actions. And behold the things are a kal vechomer: If Keter does not dwell in the Highest Sefirot (divine emanations) that intensify holy judgments and holy anger, is it not even more so that Keter and its light will not dwell upon a person who is intensifying external anger - even if it is for the sake of Heaven? And even more so, since one comes to challenge the Highest Traits, and they will say, "How brazen-faced is that one - the light of Keter is not revealed in Us because of Our holy and pure judgement, and they seek to reveal it while full of anger and disgraceful external actions?"

(3) Therefore, on holidays and Shabbat and Yom Kippur and at the time of prayer and the times of Torah involvement - that are not times of gevurot, but rather times of the revelation of the Highest Will - a person must arrange their character around all of these traits. And one can use the remaining traits for avodat Hashem at other times - but not the bad among them [anger], as there is no time that it controls a person that it is not bad for one. And when one uses these traits one can be prepared and sure that this will open the Highest Sources. Hence everyone must gradually accustom themselves to these traits. And the central one that should be grasped - which is the key to everything - is humility; as it is the head of all of them. It is the first aspect of Keter, and all are included under it.

(4) And behold, the essence of humility is not to find any value at all in ego, but rather to think of oneself as nothing. And the matter is like the statement (Exodus 16:7), "and what are we, that you complain about us" - until they are in their own eyes the lowliest of all the creatures. And when one constantly toils to reach this trait, all the other good traits will be dragged after it. The first trait that is in Keter is that it makes Itself appear like nothing in front of its Emanator. Likewise, a person should make themselves actual nothing; and should think of the disappearance of ego as much better than its affirmation. And with this one will meet even detractors as if the truth is with them and oneself is contemptible and to be blamed. And this will be a catalyst for the acquisition of the good traits.

(א) עצות להרגיל עצמו בענוה: וַאֲנִי מָצָאתִי תְּרוּפָה לְהַרְגִּיל הָאָדָם עַצְמוֹ בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ מְעַט מְעָט, אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּתְרַפֶּה בָּהּ מֵחֹלִי הַגַּאֲוָה וְיִכָּנֵס בְּשַׁעֲרֵי הָעֲנָוָה וְהוּא תַּחְבֹּשֶׁת הַנַּעֲשָׂה מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה סַמִּים:

(ב) הָאַחַת - שֶׁיַּרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ לִהְיוֹת בּוֹרֵחַ מֵהַכָּבוֹד כָּל מַה שֶׁיּוּכַל. שֶׁאִם יִתְנַהֵג שֶׁיְּכַבְּדוּהוּ בְּנֵי אָדָם, יִתְלַמֵּד בָּהֶם עַל צַד הַגַּאֲוָה, וְיִתְרַצֶּה הַטֶּבַע תָּמִיד בְּכָךְ, וּבְקֹשִׁי יוּכַל לְהֵרָפֵא.

(ג) הַשְּׁנִיָּה - שֶׁיַּרְגִּיל מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ לִרְאוֹת בְּבִזְיוֹנוֹ, וְיֹאמַר, עִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁבְּנֵי אָדָם אֵינָם יוֹדְעִים אֶת גְרִיעוּתִי מַה לִי מִזֶּה, וְכִי אֲנִי אֵינִי מַכִּיר בְּעַצְמִי שֶׁאֲנִי נִבְזֶה בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ, אִם בְּהֶעְדֵּר הַיְדִיעָה וְחֻלְשַׁת הַיְּכֹלֶת וּבִזְיוֹן הַמַּאֲכָל וְהַפֶּרֶשׁ הַיּוֹצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא, עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִבְזֶה בְּעֵינָיו נִמְאָס.

(ד) הַשְׁלִישִׁית - שֶׁיַּחְשֹׁב עַל עֲוֹנֹתָיו תָּמִיד וְיִרְצֶה בְּטָהֳרָה וְתוֹכַחַת וְיִסּוּרִים, וְיֹאמַר, מַה הֵם הַיִּסּוּרִין הַיּוֹתֵר טוֹבִים שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא יַטְרִידוּנִי מֵעֲבוֹדַת ה', אֵין חָבִיב בְּכֻלָּם מֵאֵלּוּ שֶׁיְּחָרְפוּהוּ וִיבַזֻּהוּ וִיגַדְּפֻהוּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא יִמְנְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ כֹּחוֹ וְאֹנוֹ בָּחֳלָאִים, וְלֹא יִמְנְעוּ אֲכִילָתוֹ וּמַלְבּוּשׁוֹ, וְלֹא יִמְנְעוּ חַיָּיו וְחַיֵּי בָנָיו בְּמִיתָה. אִם כֵּן מַמָּשׁ יַחְפֹּץ בָּהֶם וְיֹאמַר מַה לִי לְהִתְעַנּוֹת לְהִסְתַּגֵּף בְּשַׂקִּים וּבְמַלְקִיּוֹת הַמַּחְלִשִׁים כֹּחִי מֵעֲבוֹדַת ה' וַאֲנִי לוֹקֵחַ אֹתָם בְּיָדִי, יוֹתֵר טוֹב אֶסְתַּגֵּף בְּבִזְיוֹן בְּנֵי אָדָם וְחֶרְפָּתָם לִי, וְלֹא יָסוּר כֹּחִי וְלֹא יֵחָלֵשׁ. וּבָזֶה כְּשֶׁיָּבֹאוּ הָעֶלְבּוֹנוֹת עָלָיו יִשְׂמַח בָּהֶם, וְאַדְרַבָּה יַחְפֹּץ בָּהֶם. וְיַעֲשֶׂה מִשְּׁלֹשֶׁת סַמִּים אֵלּוּ תַּחְבֹּשֶׁת לְלִבּוֹ וְיִתְלַמֵּד בָּזֶה כָל יָמָיו.

(1) Suggestions to accustom oneself to humility: I have found a remedy for a person to gradually accustom themselves to these things. It is possible that, through them, they will heal themselves from the sickness of pride and enter the gates of humility. It is a bandage made of three herbs.

(2) The first: That one accustom oneself to flee as much as one can from honor. As if one accustoms themselves to having honor, he will become habituated from them towards the side of pride. And nature will make one want this always, and one can only be healed with difficulty.

(3) The second: That one make it a habit to see their own contemptible faults and say, "If it is that people do not know of my inferiority, what is that to me? And do I, myself, not recognize that I am contemptible with such and such" - whether it is with the lack of knowledge, the weakness of ability or the humbling nature of one's own bodily functions, and similar to this - until one be lowered in their own eyes and repellent.

(4) The third: That one constantly think about their wrongdoings and desire purification, rebukes and challenges. And one should say, "What are the best challenges in the world, which will not interfere with spiritual practice?" There is nothing more beloved in people than that they should curse and disrespect and condemn me. As behold they do not injure my strength and vitality with actual sickness; and they do not take away food and clothing; and they do interfere with my life or bring death to my children. If so, one should truly embrace them and say, "What is it for me to fast and mortify myself with sackcloth and lashes - that weaken my strength for spiritual practice - that I should take up such things myself? It is better for me to mortify myself with the contempt of people and their cursing me; and my strength will not depart and I will not be weakened through that!" And with this, when insults come, one will rejoice about them and desire them. And one should make a bandage for his heart from these three herbs and train oneself this way all of one's days.

(א) עצות נוספות להתרגל לענוה: וְעוֹד מָצָאתִי מַשְׁקֶה טוֹב מְאֹד אֲבָל לֹא יוֹעִיל הַמַּשְׁקֶה כָּל כָּךְ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיּוֹעִיל אַחַר תַּחְבֹּשֶׁת הַנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל, וְהוּא שֶׁיַּרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ בִּשְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים:

(ב) הָאֶחָד - הוּא לְכַבֵּד כָּל הַנִּבְרָאִים כֻּלָּם, אַחַר שֶׁיַּכִּיר מַעֲלַת הַבּוֹרֵא אֲשֶׁר יָצַר הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה, וְכֵן כָּל הַנִּבְרָאִים חָכְמַת הַיּוֹצֵר בָּהֶם, וְיִרְאֶה בְעַצְמוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵם נִכְבָּדִים מְאֹד מְאֹד, שֶׁנִּטְפַּל יוֹצֵר הַכֹּל הֶחָכָם הַנַּעֲלֶה עַל כָּל בִּבְרִיאָתָם, וְאִלּוּ יְבַזֶּה אוֹתָם חַס וְשָׁלוֹם נוֹגֵעַ בִּכְבוֹד יוֹצְרָם. וַהֲרֵי זֶה יִדְמֶה אֶל חָכָם צוֹרֵף, עָשָׂה כְּלִי בְּחָכְמָה גְּדוֹלָה וְהָרְאָה מַעֲשֵׂהוּ אֶל בְּנֵי אָדָם, וְהִתְחִיל אֶחָד מֵהֶם לְגַנּוֹתוֹ וּלְבַזּוֹתוֹ, כַּמָּה יַגִּיעַ מֵהַכַּעַס אֶל הֶחָכָם הַהוּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּבַזִּין חָכְמָתוֹ בִּהְיוֹתָם מְבַזִּים מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו. וְאַף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יֵרַע בְּעֵינָיו אִם יְבַזּוּ שׁוּם בְּרִיָּה מִבְּרִיּוֹתָיו, וְזֶה שֶׁכָּתוּב (תְּהִלִּים קד, כד): "מָה רַבּוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ ה'". לֹא אָמַר "גָּדְלוּ" אֶלָּא "רַבּוּ" לָשׁוֹן "רַב בֵּיתוֹ" (אֶסְתֵּר א, ח) חֲשׁוּבִים מְאֹד, "כֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ" , וְאַחַר שֶׁנִּטְפְּלָה חָכְמָתְךָ בָּהֶם רַבּוּ וְגָדְלוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ, וְרָאוּי לְאָדָם לְהִתְבּוֹנֵן מִתּוֹכָם חָכְמָה, לֹא בִּזָּיוֹן.

(ג) הַשֵּׁנִי - יַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ לְהַכְנִיס אַהֲבַת בְּנֵי אָדָם בְּלִבּוֹ, וַאֲפִילוּ הָרְשָׁעִים, כְּאִלּוּ הָיוּ אֶחָיו וְיֹתֵר מִזֶּה, עַד שֶׁיִּקְבַּע בְּלִבּוֹ אַהֲבַת בְּנֵי אָדָם כֻּלָּם, וַאֲפִלּוּ הָרְשָׁעִים יֶאֱהַב אֹתָם בְּלִבּוֹ, וְיֹאמַר, מִי יִתֵּן וְיִהְיוּ אֵלּוּ צַדִּיקִים שָׁבִים בִּתְשׁוּבָה וַיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּם גְּדוֹלִים וּרְצוּיִים לַמָּקוֹם. כְּמַאֲמַר אוֹהֵב נֶאֱמָן לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל, אָמַר (בַּמִּדְבָּר יא, כט): "וּמִי יִתֵּן כָּל עַם ה' נְבִיאִים וְגוֹ'", וּבַמֶּה יֶאֱהַב, בִּהְיוֹתוֹ מַזְכִּיר בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ טוֹבוֹת אֲשֶׁר בָּהֶם, וִיכַסֶּה מוּמָם וְלֹא יִסְתַּכֵּל בְּנִגְעֵיהֶם אֶלָּא בַּמִּדּוֹת הַטּוֹבוֹת אֲשֶׁר בָּהֶם. וְיֹאמַר בְּלִבּוֹ, אִלּוּ הָיָה הֶעָנִי הַמָּאוּס הַזֶּה בַּעַל מָמוֹן רַב כַּמָּה הָיִיתִי שָׂמֵחַ בְּחֶבְרָתוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֲנִי שָׂמֵחַ בְּחֶבְרַת פְּלוֹנִי. וַהֲרֵי זֶה, אִלּוּ יַלְבִּישׁוּהוּ הַלְּבוּשִׁים הַנָּאִים כְּמוֹ פְּלוֹנִי הֲרֵי אֵין בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינוֹ הֶבְדֵּל, אִם כֵּן לָמָּה יֵעָדֵר כְּבֹדוֹ בְּעֵינַי, וַהֲרֵי בְּעֵינֵי ה' חָשׁוּב מִמֶּנִּי, שֶׁהוּא נָגוּעַ מְדֻכָּה עֹנִי וְיִסּוּרִים וּמְנֻקֶּה מֵעָוֹן, וְלָמָּה אֶשְׂנָא מִי שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אוֹהֵב, וּבָזֶה יִהְיֶה לְבָבוֹ פֹּנֶה אֶל צַד הַטּוֹב וּמַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ לַחְשֹׁב בְּכָל מִדּוֹת טוֹבוֹת שֶׁזָּכַרְנוּ.

Elul 14 (Thursday, Sep 3)

(1) Additional suggestions to accustom oneself to humility: I have found a very good potion, but the potion does not help as much as the bandage mentioned above. And it is that one accustom oneself to two things:

(2) The first is to completely honor all of the creatures. Since one recognizes the virtue of the Creator that created humans with wisdom - and the wisdom of the Creator is likewise in all of the creatures - and one can see that they are very, very honored; as the Creator of all, the virtuous Wise One, designed them in their creation. And if one disgraces them, has v'shalom, one touches on the honor of their Creator. And behold, this is similar to a wise smith - he made a vessel with great wisdom and he showed his creation to people. And one of them began to denounce it and to disdain it. How much anger will come to that wise one - since they are disgracing his wisdom, in that they are disgracing the work of his hands. And so, too, will it be bad in the eyes of the Holy One of Being if they disgrace any creation of His creations. And this is the meaning of that which is written (Psalms 104:24), "How many are Your creations, Lord" - it does not state, "great," but rather, "many (rabu)," an expression [like], "the important one (rav) of the house" (Esther 1:8), [meaning] they are very important - "You made all of them with wisdom": And since Your wisdom has been involved with them, Your works themselves are therefore important and great. And so it is fitting for a person to contemplate wisdom in them and not to treat them with contempt or disrespect.

(3) The second: one should make it a habit to internalize the love of people into the heart, and even evildoers, as if they were family and even more than this until one fixes the love of all people into his heart. And one should even love the evildoers in one's heart and say, "If only they could all be ba'alei teshuvah and all be great ones and desirable to HaMakom," like the statement of the trusted friend of all of Israel [Moses]. He stated (Numbers 11:29), "if only all of the people of YHVH could be prophets" How will one love them? When one mentions in thought the good that they have and covers their defects, and does not gaze at their wounds but rather at the good traits that they have. And one should say in the heart, "If this disdained beggar was a rich member of the elite, how happy I would be with his friendship! Just as I am with the friendship of so and so.... And behold, if they would dress this one with nice clothes like so and so, behold there is no difference between them. If so, why should they lack honor in my eyes? And behold, perhaps in the eyes of God, they are more important than I am- maybe they are stricken and downtrodden with poverty and afflictions, and so cleansed of wrongdoing. And why would I hate one that the Holy One of Being loves?" And through this the heart will turn to the side of the good and be habituated to think about all the good traits.

The Ramak will know begin moving beyond Keter to the sefirot most of us are more familiar with, beginning with Chochmah (wisdom, awareness) and moving on to Binah (understanding, intellect); Chesed (kindness), Gevurah (severity, justice, restraint), Tiferet (beauty, compassion), Netzach (Victory), Hod (Submission), Yesod (Foundation of the World, the bounty giving divine phallus) and Malchut (the kingdom, the immanent expression of divinity in the world and the womb which receives the seed of Yesod, grows it and births it into this world).

(א) האיך ירגיל האדם עצמו במדת החכמה: הִנֵּה הַחָכְמָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה פְּרוּשָׂה עַל כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים כֻּלָּם, עִם הֱיוֹתָהּ נֶעֱלֶמֶת וְנִשְׂגָּבָה מְאֹד, וְעָלֶיהָ נֶאֱמַר (תְּהִלִּים קד, כד): "מָה רַבּוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ ה' כֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ". כָּךְ רָאוּי לְאָדָם שֶׁתִּהְיֶה חָכְמָתוֹ מְצוּיָה בַּכֹּל וְיִהְיֶה מְלַמֵּד לְהוֹעִיל לִבְנֵי אָדָם לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד כְּפִי כֹחוֹ כָּל מַה שֶׁיּוּכַל לְהַשְׁפִּיעַ עָלָיו מֵחָכְמָתוֹ יַשְׁפִּיעֵהוּ וְלֹא תַטְרִידֵהוּ סִבָּה כְּלָל.

Elul 15 (Friday Sep 4)

(1) Chapter 3 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Trait Of Chochmah:

Behold, the Higher Chochmah permeates all things that exist, even as it is very concealed and very sublime. About it it is said (Psalms 104:24), "How many are Your creations, YHVH; You made all of them with wisdom." So too is it fitting for a person's wisdom to be found in everything [i.e. one should seek to understand everything]; and one should then 'teach to benefit' people - one should give to each and every one as much as is possible, and according to one's ability, that which one can give from his wisdom. And one should not be disturbed in this at all for any reason.

(א) שני פנים לחכמה: וְהִנֵּה אֶל הַחָכְמָה שְׁנֵי פָנִים:

(ב) הַפָּן הָעֶלְיוֹן הַפּוֹנֶה אֶל הַכֶּתֶר - וְאֵין אֹתָם הַפָּנִים מִסְתַּכְּלִים לְמַטָּה אֶלָּא מְקַבְּלִים מִלְמַעְלָה.

(ג) הַפָּן הַשֵּׁנִי הַתַּחְתּוֹן פּוֹנֶה לְמַטָּה - לְהַשְׁגִּיחַ בַּסְּפִירוֹת שֶׁהִיא מִתְפַּשֶּׁטֶת בְּחָכְמָתָהּ אֲלֵיהֶם.

(ד) כָּךְ יִהְיֶה אֶל הָאָדָם שְׁנֵי פָנִים:

(ה) הַפָּן הָרִאשׁוֹן - הוּא הִתְבּוֹדְדוּתוֹ בְּקוֹנוֹ כְּדֵי לְהוֹסִיף בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וּלְתַקְּנָהּ.

(ו) הַשֵּׁנִי - לְלַמֵּד בְּנֵי אָדָם מֵאוֹתָהּ חָכְמָה שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הִשְׁפִּיעַ עָלָיו.

(ז) וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהַחָכְמָה מַשְׁפַּעַת אֶל כָּל סְפִירָה וּסְפִירָה כְּפִי שִׁעוּרָהּ וְצָרְכָּהּ, כֵּן יַשְׁפִּיעַ בְּכָל אָדָם כְּפִי שִׁעוּר שִׂכְלוֹ אֲשֶׁר יוּכַל שְׂאֵת וְהַנֵאוֹת אֵלָיו וְצָרְכּוֹ. וְיִשָּׁמֵר מִלָּתֵת יוֹתֵר מִשִּׁעוּר שֵׂכֶל הַמֻּשְׁפָּע, שֶׁלֹּא תִמָּשֵׁךְ מִמֶּנּוּ תַּקָּלָה, שֶׁכֵּן הַסְּפִירָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה אֵינָהּ מוֹסֶפֶת עַל הַשִּׁעוּר הַמֻּגְבָּל בִּמְקַבֵּל.

(1) The Two Faces of Chochmah:

There are two faces to Chochmah:

(2) The higher face that faces Keter - that face does not gaze below, but rather receives from Above.

(3) The second: the lower face that faces below to survey the Sefirot that it permeates with its wisdom.

(4) Just so there should be two faces to a person:

(5) The first face - that is meditation about the Creator in order to add to wisdom and to refine it.

(6) The second - to teach people from that wisdom that the Holy One of Being has given to them.

(7) And just like Wisdom endows each and every Sefirah according to its nature one should give wisdom to every person according to the measure of their intellect with which they can hold it, and that which is pleasant for them and their need. And they should be careful not to give more than the measure of the intellect of the receiver, so that a mishap not follow from it, and so is it that the higher Sefirah does not give beyond the measure of the receiver.

(א) השגחה על צרכי אחרים: וְעוֹד מִדֶּרֶךְ הַחָכְמָה לִהְיוֹתָהּ מַשְׁגַּחַת עַל כָּל הַמְּצִיאוּת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא הַמַּחְשָׁבָה הַחוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל כָּל הַנִּמְצָאוֹת וְעָלֶיהָ נֶאֱמַר (יְשַׁעְיָה נה, ח): "כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם", וּכְתִיב (שְׁמוּאֵל ב יד, יד): "וְחָשַׁב מַחֲשָׁבוֹת לְבִלְתִּי יִדַּח מִמֶּנּוּ נִדָּח" וכתיב (ירמיה כט, יא): "כִּי אָנֹכִי יָדַעְתִּי אֶת הַמַּחֲשָׁבֹת אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי חוֹשֵׁב עֲלֵיכֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל מַחְשְׁבוֹת שָׁלוֹם וְלֹא רָעָה לָתֵת לָכֶם אַחֲרִית תִּקְוָה". כָּךְ צָרִיךְ הָאָדָם לִהְיוֹת עֵינָיו פְקֻחוֹת עַל הַנְהָגַת עִם ה' לְהוֹעִילָם, וּמַחְשְׁבוֹתָיו תִּהְיֶינָה לְקָרֵב הַנִּדָּחִים וְלַחְשֹׁב עֲלֵיהֶם מַחֲשָׁבוֹת טוֹבוֹת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁהַשֵּׂכֶל חֹשֵׁב תּוֹעֶלֶת הַנִּמְצָא כֻּלּוֹ, כָּךְ יַחְשֹׁב הוּא תּוֹעֶלֶת הַחֲבֵרִים וְיִתְיַעֵץ עֵצוֹת טוֹבוֹת עִם ה׳ וְעִם עַמּוֹ בִּפְרָט וּבִכְלָל, וְהַיּוֹצֵא מֵהַהַנְהָגָה הַטּוֹבָה יְנַהֲלֵהוּ אֶל הַהַנְהָגָה הַיְשָׁרָה וְיִהְיֶה לוֹ כְּמוֹ שֵׂכֶל וּמַחְשָׁבָה לְנַהֲגוֹ וּלְנַהֲלוֹ אֶל הַמִּנְהָג הַטּוֹב וְהַיֹּשֶׁר, כַּמַחֲשָׁבָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה הַמְיַשֶּׁרֶת הָאָדָם הָעֶלְיוֹן.

(1) Watching over the needs of others: It is also from the way of Chochmah for it to be watching over all existence, since it is the thought that thinks about whatever exists. And about this it is it stated (Isaiah 55:8), "For My thoughts are not your thoughts"; and written (II Samuel 14:14), "and Hashem thinks thoughts that one lost not be lost"; and (Jeremiah 29:11), "For I have known the thoughts that I am thinking about you, House of Israel; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to bring you in the end to what you hope for."

So must a person's eyes be open over the behavior of the people of God, to benefit them. And one's thoughts should be to bring close the lost, and to think good thoughts about them. Just like the divine Intellect thinks about the benefit of all that exists, so should one think about the benefit of each other and counsel each other with advice that is good with Hashem and with Hashem's people, both individually and generally. And one should lead one who leaves behind good behaviour, towards upright behaviour; and he should direct his thought and intellect to lead others to good and upright action like the Highest Thought corrects the Celestial Human.

(א) להשפיע חיים: וְעוֹד הַחָכְמָה תְּחַיֶּה הַכֹּל כְּדִכְתִיב (קֹהֶלֶת ז, יב): "וְהַחָכְמָה תְּחַיֶּה בְעָלֶיהָ" כָּךְ יִהְיֶה הוּא מוֹרֶה חַיִּים לְכָל הָעוֹלָם וְגוֹרֵם לָהֶם חַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא וּמַמְצִיא לָהֶם חַיִּים. זֶה הַכְּלָל יִהְיֶה נוֹבֵעַ חַיִּים לַכֹּל.

(1) To Bestow Life:

Chochmah also enlivens everything, as it is written (Ecclesiastes 7:12), "and wisdom gives life to the living." So too, should one teach life to the whole world and cause them to have life in olam ha-zeh [this world] and in olam ha-ba [the world to come], and invent life for them. This is the general principle - one should be a flowing source of life for all.

(א) להיות כמו אב: וְעוֹד הַחָכְמָה אָב לְכָל הַנִּמְצָאוֹת כְּדִכְתִיב (תְּהִלִּים קד, כד): "מָה רַבּוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ ה׳ כֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ" וְהֵן חַיִּים וּמִתְקַיְּמִים מִשָּׁם, כָּךְ יִהְיֶה הוּא אָב לְכָל יְצוּרָיו שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא"ה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל, עִקָּר שֶׁהֵם הַנְּשָׁמוֹת הַקְּדוֹשׁוֹת הָאֲצֻלּוֹת מִשָּׁם, וִיבַקֵּשׁ תָּמִיד רַחֲמִים וּבְרָכָה לָעוֹלָם, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָאָב הָעֶלְיוֹן רַחֲמָן עַל בְּרוּאָיו וְיִהְיֶה תָמִיד מִתְפַּלֵּל בְּצָרַת הַמְּצֵרִים כְּאִלּוּ הָיוּ בָנָיו מַמָּשׁ וּכְאִלּוּ הוּא יְצָרָם, שֶׁזֶּהוּ רְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאָמַר הָרוֹעֶה הַנֶּאֱמָן (בַּמִּדְבָּר יא, יב): "הֶאָנֹכִי הָרִיתִי אֶת כָּל הָעָם הַזֶּה כִּי תֹאמַר אֵלַי שָׂאֵהוּ בְחֵיקֶךָ", וּבָזֶה יִשָּׂא אֶת כָּל עַם ה׳ כַּאֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂא הָאוֹמֵן אֶת הַיּוֹנֵק, בִּזְרוֹעוֹ יְקַבֵּץ טְלָאִים, וּבְחֵיקוֹ יִשָּׂא, עָלוֹת יְנַהֵל, הַנִּכְחָדוֹת יִפְקֹד, הַנַּעַר יְבַקֵּשׁ, הַנִּשְׁבָּרֶת יְרַפֵּא, הַנִּצָּבָה יְכַלְכֵּל, הָאֹבְדוֹת יַחְזִיר. וִירַחֵם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִשָּׂא בְּסֵבֶר פָּנִים יָפוֹת מַשָּׂאָם כְּאָב הָרַחֲמָן הָעֶלְיוֹן הַסּוֹבֵל כֹּל, וְלֹא יִבּוֹל וְלֹא יִתְעַלֵּם וְלֹא יָקוּץ, וִינַהֵל לְכָל אֶחָד כְּפִי צָרְכּוֹ.

(ב) אֵלּוּ הֵן מִדּוֹת הַחָכְמָה אָב רַחֲמָן עַל בָּנִים:

Elul 18 (Monday, Sep 7)

(1) To Be Like A Parent:

Chochmah is also a parent to all that exists, as it is written (Psalms 104:24), "How many are Your creations, Lord; You made all of them with wisdom" - and they live and are preserved from there. So must one be a parent to all of the creations of the Holy One of Being and to Israel, the essence of which is the holy souls emanated from there, and to always seek compassion and blessing for the world, in the way that the Highest Parent is a Compassionate One upon all creatures - and always pray about the distress of those in distress, as if they were one's actual children and as if one created them. This is the will of the Holy One of Being in the way that the faithful shepherd stated (Numbers 11:12), "Did I conceive all this people, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom.'" And in this way one should carry all of the people of Hashem 'as a nurse carries an infant' - 'with his forearm he gathers the lambs, with his bosom carries, leads the nurse-mothers.' One should remember the hidden, seek the young, heal the broken, sustain the needy and return the lost. And one should have compassion on Israel and carry their load with a shining face like the Highest Compassionate One who tolerates everything and does not tire nor turn away nor stop, but rather leads each one according to his need.

(2) These are the traits of Wisdom, the merciful parent over its children.

(א) לרחם על כל הנבראים: עוֹד צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת רַחֲמָיו פְּרוּשִׂים עַל כָּל הַנִּבְרָאִים, לֹא יְבַזֵּם וְלֹא יְאַבְּדֵם. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַחָכְמָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה הִיא פְרוּשָׂה עַל כָּל הַנִּבְרָאִים דּוֹמֵם וְצוֹמֵחַ וְחַי וּמְדַבֵּר. וּמִטַּעַם זֶה הֻזְהַרְנוּ מִבִּזּוּי אוֹכְלִים. וְעַל דָּבָר זֶה רָאוּי, שֶׁכְּמוֹ שֶׁהַחָכְמָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה אֵינָהּ מְבַזָּה שׁוּם נִמְצָא וְהַכֹּל נַעֲשָׂה מִשָּׁם כְּדִכְתִיב "כֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ" , כֵּן יִהְיֶה רַחֲמֵי הָאָדָם עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו יִתְבָּרַךְ. וּמִטַּעַם זֶה הָיָה עֹנֶשׁ רַבֵּינוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ עַל יְדֵי שֶׁלֹּא חָס עַל בֶּן הַבָּקָר שֶׁהָיָה מִתְחַבֵּא אֶצְלוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ "זִיל לְכָךְ נוֹצַרְתָּ" (בָּבָא מְצִיעָא פה.) בָּאוּ לוֹ יִסּוּרִין, שֶׁהֵם מִצַּד הַדִּין שֶׁהֲרֵי הָרַחֲמִים מְגִנִּים עַל הַדִּין, וְכַאֲשֶׁר רִחֵם עַל הַחֻלְדָּה וְאָמַר "רַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו" כְּתִיב, נִצּוֹל מִן הַדִּין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁפֵּרַשׂ אוֹר הַחָכְמָה עָלָיו וְנִסְתַּלְּקוּ הַיִּסּוּרִים. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה לֹא יְבַזֶּה בְּשׁוּם נִמְצָא מִן הַנִּמְצָאִים שֶׁכֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה וְלֹא יַעֲקֹר הַצּוֹמֵחַ אֶלָּא לְצֹרֶךְ, וְלֹא יָמִית הַבַּעַל חַי אֶלָּא לְצוּרֵךְ, וְיִבְרֹר לָהֶם מִיתָה יָפָה בְּסַכִּין בְּדוּקָה לְרַחֵם כָּל מַה שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר.

(ב) זֶה הַכְּלָל: הַחֶמְלָה עַל כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים שֶׁלֹּא לְחַבְּלָם תְּלוּיָה בַּחָכְמָה, זוּלָתִי לְהַעֲלוֹתָם מִמַּעֲלָה אֶל מַעֲלָה, מִצּוֹמֵחַ לְחַי, מֵחַי לִמְדַבֵּר שֶׁאָז מֻתָּר לַעֲקֹר הַצּוֹמֵחַ וּלְהָמִית הַחַי - לָחוּב עַל מְנָת לְזַכּוֹת:

(1)To Have Compassion Upon All Of The Creatures:

One must also extend compassion to all the creatures. One should not have contempt for them nor destroy them because the Highest Chochmah is spread over all the creatures - the inanimate, the growing [plants], the living [animals] and the speaking [people]. We are warned about having contempt for food for this reason. About this it is fitting that just like the Highest Chochmah does not have contempt for anything in existence and everything was made from there, as it is written, "You made all of them with wisdom" - just so the compassion of a person should be over all of Hashem's creations, Blessed Be. And for this reason was the holy Rabbi punished [Bava Metzia 85a tells the following story of R' Yehuda Ha Nasi, the compiler of the Mishna]. Since he did not pity the young calf that was hiding with him and said to it, "Go to be slaughtered, it was this for which you were created" afflictions [from Hashem] came upon him. They were from the side of judgement; since behold, compassion protects from [divine] judgement. And when the Rabbi had compassion on a weasel and said, "It is written (Psalms 145:9), 'and Hashem's mercies are over all creatures,'" he was saved from the judgement - since the light of Chochmah was spread over him and the afflictions withdrew. In this way, we should not disdain anything that exists as all of them are made with Chochmah. And so one should not even uproot a plant except for a need, nor kill an animal except for a need. And even then one should choose as pleasant a death as possible with an inspected knife [to make sure it is perfectly sharp and will kill as painlessly as possible], to act as compassionately as we can.

(2) This is the general rule: Compassion upon all things in existence - not to injure them - is rooted in Chochmah. This is unless it is to raise them from level to level - from growing to living; from living to speaking. As then it is permitted to uproot and kill; to disadvantage in order to benefit [a reference to the Kabbalistic doctrine that food eaten in a sacred way raises the souls within to a higher level].

The Ramak will now begin a Kabbalistic discussion of teshuvah of particular relevance for the Yomim Nora'im (Days of Awe).

(א) האיך ירגיל האדם עצמו במדת הבינה: בינה היא תשובה: וְהוּא לָשׁוּב בִּתְשׁוּבָה שֶּׁאֵין דָּבָר חָשׁוּב כָּמוֹהָ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מְתַקֶּנֶת כָּל פְּגַם, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הַבִּינָה לְמַתֵּק כָּל הַדִּינִים וּלְבַטֵּל מְרִירוּתָם, כָּךְ הָאָדָם יָשׁוּב בִּתְשׁוּבָה וִיתַקֵּן כָּל פְּגָם. וּמִי שֶׁמְּהַרְהֵר תְּשׁוּבָה כָּל יָמָיו גּוֹרֵם שֶׁתָּאִיר הַבִּינָה בְּכָל יָמָיו וְנִמְצְאוּ כָּל יָמָיו בִּתְשׁוּבָה דְּהַיְנוּ לִכְלֹל עַצְמוֹ בְּבִינָה שֶׁהִיא תְּשׁוּבָה וִימֵי חַיָּיו מְעֻטָּרִים בְּסוֹד הַתְּשׁוּבָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. וּרְאֵה כִּי כְמוֹ שֶׁהַתְּשׁוּבָה יֵשׁ בָּהּ שֹׁרֶשׁ כָּל הַנִּמְצָאוֹת בְּסוֹד הַיּוֹבֵל וַהֲרֵי שֹׁרֶשׁ הַחִצוֹנִים סוֹד נְהַר דִּינוּר הַנִּכְלָל בִּקְדֻשָּׁה בְּסוֹד הַגְּבוּרוֹת נִשְׁרַשׁ שָׁם וְיִתְפַּשֵּׁט מִשָּׁם וְיִקָּרֵא הִתְפַּשְּׁטוּת חֲרוֹן אַף וּבְסוֹד "וַיָּרַח ה' אֶת רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ" (בְּרֵאשִׁית ח, כא) יַחְזֹר הַהִתְפַּשְּׁטוּת הַהוּא אֶל מְקוֹרוֹ וְיֻמְתְּקוּ הַדִּינִים וְיִשְׁקֹט הֶחָרוֹן וְיִנָּחֵם ה׳ עַל הָרָעָה, כָּךְ הָאָדָם בְּסוֹד תְּשׁוּבָתוֹ עוֹשֶׂה סוֹד זֶה.

Elul 19 (Tuesday Sep 8 )

(1) Chapter 4 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Trait Of Binah:

Binah [understanding] is to turn around in teshuvah and there is nothing as important as this, since it repairs every defect. It is the way of Binah to sweeten all of the judgments and to nullify their bitterness, so a person should do teshuvah and fix every defect. One who ponders teshuvah all of their days causes Binah to shine upon them all of their days.

'And it comes out that all of their days are in teshuvah' - which is to say that one is including oneself in Binah, which is Teshuvah. The days of one's life are therefore crowned with the secret of the Highest Teshuvah [The Zohar teaches two levels of Teshuvah, both found in the divine Name Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh. The "lower heh" is repentance from wrongdoing and the "higher heh" is return, through love and awe, to the Divine Being ]. And see, that just like Teshuvah has the root of all that is in existence in it through the secret of the Jubilee [the highest level of Binah, which as fifty gates like the fifty years of the Jubilee, gives blessing to all things when connected to Chochmah above it], and behold the root of the external forces [the forces of severity, or negativity, first arise in the multiplicity of the sefirah of Binah]- the secret of the River Dinur [the wrathful celestial river of fire] which is included in the holiness of the secret of the gevurot- is rooted there [in Binah] and extends from there and this extension is called the extension of the burning fury, but the extension returns to its Source in the secret of "And the Lord smelled the pleasant smell" (Genesis 8:21), and the judgments are sweetened and the fury is stilled, 'and Hashem relents of the evil'; so [too] does a person do this secret with the secret of Teshuvah [in other words, both the origin and the solution to the gevurot are found in Binah- when one does lower and higher Teshuvah the gevurot- the forces of fragmentation, negativity and judgement, are sweetened].

(א) התשובה טובה גם לרע: שֶׁלֹּא תֹאמַר שֶׁהַתְּשׁוּבָה טוֹבָה לְחֵלֶק הַקְּדֻשָּׁה שֶׁבָּאָדָם, אֶלָּא גַּם לְחֵלֶק הָרַע שֶּׁבּוֹ, מִתְמַתֵּק כְּעֵין הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת. תֵּדַע שֶׁהֲרֵי קַיִן רַע הָיָה וּמִנָּחָשׁ הָיָה וְנֶאֱמַר לוֹ (שם ד, ז) "הֲלֹא אִם תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת" אַל תַּחְשֹׁב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאַתָּה מִצַּד הָרַע שֶּׁאֵין לְךָ תַּקָּנָה, זֶה שֶׁקֶר. הֲלֹא אִם תֵּיטִיב וְתַשְׁרִישׁ עַצְמְךָ בְּסוֹד הַתְּשׁוּבָה שֶׁאִם תִּסְתַּלֵּק שָׁם בְּסוֹד הַטּוֹב הַמֻּשְׁרָשׁ שָׁם שֶׁכָּל מַר עֶלְיוֹן שָׁרְשׁוֹ מָתוֹק וְיָכוֹל לִכָּנֵס דֶּרֶךְ שָׁרְשׁוֹ וּלְהֵטִיב עַצְמוֹ, וְלָזֶה הַפְּעֻלּוֹת עַצְמָן מֵטִיב הָאָדָם וּזְדוֹנוֹת נַעֲשׂוּ לוֹ כִּזְכֻיּוֹת, כִּי הִנֵּה אֹתָם הַפְּעֻלּוֹת שֶׁעָשָׂה הָיוּ מְקַטְרְגוֹת מִסִּטְרָא דִשְׂמָאלָא, שָׁב בִּתְשׁוּבָה שְׁלֵמָה, הֲרֵי מַכְנִיס וּמַשְׁרִישׁ אוֹתָן הַפְּעֻלּוֹת לְמַעְלָה וְכָל אֹתָם הַמְּקַטְרְגִים אֵינָם מִתְבַּטְּלִים אֶלָּא מְטִיבִין עַצְמָן וּמִשְׁתָּרְשִׁים בִּקְדֻשָּׁה כְּעֵין הֲטָבַת קַיִן, וַהֲרֵי אִם קַיִן שָׁב בִּתְשׁוּבָה וְנִתְקַן הִנֵּה זְדוֹן אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁבּוֹ הוֹלִיד אֶת קַיִן - קִינָא דִמְסָאֲבוּתָא, הָיָה נֶחְשָׁב לוֹ זְכוּת, בְּסוֹד "בְּרָא מְזַכֶּה אַבָּא" (סַנְהֶדְרִין קד.). אָמְנָם לֹא רָצָה לָשׁוּב, וּלְכָךְ כָּל סִטְרָא דִשְׂמָאלָא נִמְשַׁךְ מִשָּׁם, וְכָל עֲנָפָיו עֲתִידִין לְהִתְמַתֵּק וְהֵם שָׁבִים וּמִתְמַתְּקִים, וְהַיְּנוּ מַמָּשׁ מִן הַטַּעַם שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁנוּ, שֶׁהָאָדָם מַשְׁרִישׁ בְּעַצְמוֹ סוֹד הָרָע וּמְמַתְּקוֹ וּמַכְנִיסוֹ אֶל הַטּוֹב. לְפִיכָךְ הָאָדָם מְטַהֵר יֵצֶר הָרַע וּמַכְנִיסוֹ אֶל הַטּוֹב וְהוּא מִשְׁתָּרֵשׁ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה לְמָעְלָה.

(ב) וְזוֹ הִיא מַעֲלַת הַתְּשׁוּבָה שֶׁהָאָדָם יִתְנַהֵג בָּהּ, צָרִיךְ שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם יְהַרְהֵר בָּהּ וַיַּעֲשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה בְּצַד מַה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כָּל יָמָיו בִּתְשׁוּבָה:

(1) Repentance Is Also Good For The Evil

You should not say that teshuvah is only good for the holy part in a person, rather it also sweetens the evil part within, just as the gevurot are sweetened by Binah. Know that Cain was bad and was from the snake, but it was said to him (Genesis 4:7), "If you do good, will you not be uplifted?" Do not think that because you are from the side of evil, that you have no tikkun; that is false! Is it not that "if you do good" and root yourself in the secret of teshuvah, "you will be uplifted," such that you will withdraw to there in the secret of the good?

For everything bitter has a higher sweet root and can enter through its root to uplift itself. These very same wrong actions can be for a persons good, and one's 'intentional wrongdoings are made to be like merits." Those actions that one did, which were prosecuting one, from the 'left side' [sitra achra] if one does complete teshuvah one brings these actions in and roots them to the Above. They do not become nullified but rather are uplifted and root themselves in holiness, the same as the uplift held out to Cain.

Had Cain repented and had tikkun the wrong of the first human being [Adam] through which he fathered Cain (kina demisavuta, 'contaminated nest') would have been to Adam's merit, through the secret of 'a child gives merit to the parent' (Sanhedrin 104a).

However, he did not want to do teshuvah. And hence, all the 'side of the left' is drawn from there, but all of its branches will eventually be sweetened, and they will return [to their root] and be sweetened. And this is really from the reason that we explained - that a person takes the secret of evil to their own roots and sweetens it and brings it into the good. Hence, a person purifies their yetzer hara [evil impulse] and brings it into the good, and it becomes rooted in holiness Above.

(2) And this is the virtue of teshuvah that a person practices. One must ponder it each and every day and do teshuvah in some way, so that 'all of one's days will be in teshuvah.'

The Ramak will now look at ways of doing kindness to Hashem through doing kindness in the world, emphasizing the Kabbalistic teaching of the inter-relationship between divine and human action. While doing so the Ramak will begin to discuss Yesod and Malchut, and in doing so will discuss the role of sexuality in divine service, advocating a kind of Tantric Judaism which follows from the teachings of the Zohar. The gendered nature of Kabbalistic depictions of sefirot has posed challenges in this attempt to translate Tomer Devorah in a contemporary, egalitarian, gender-skeptical way. In some passages I have preserved the original gendered discussion as removing it would require radical revision of the Kabbalistic symbolism of the Holy One of Being and the Shechinah; in other places in the text I have made the language as gender-neutral as possible so as to bring out practical implications for any person who wants to apply the text regardless of their gender-identification.

(א) כיצד ירגיל האדם עצמו במדת החסד: העקר - אהבת ה': עִיקָר כְּנִיסַת הָאָדָם אֶל סוֹד הַחֶסֶד הוּא לֶאֱהֹב אֶת ה' תַּכְלִית אַהֲבָה שֶׁלֹּא יַנִיחַ עֲבוֹדָתוֹ לְשׁוּם סִבָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶּׁאֵין דָּבָר נֶאֱהָב אֶצְלוֹ כְּלָל לְעֵרֶךְ אַהֲבָתוֹ יִתְבָּרַךְ, וְלָזֶה יְתַקֵּן תְּחִלָּה צָרְכֵי עֲבוֹדָתוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ הַמּוֹתָר יִהְיֶה לִשְׁאָר הַצְּרָכִים, וְתִהְיֶה הָאַהֲבָה הַזֹּאת תְּקוּעָה בְּלִבּוֹ בֵּין יְקַבֵּל טוֹבוֹת מֵאֵת הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּבֵין יְקַבֵּל יִסּוּרִין וְתוֹכָחוֹת יַחְשְּׁבֵם לְאַהֲבָה לוֹ כְּדִכְתִיב (מִשְׁלֵי כז, ו): "נֶאֱמָנִים פִּצְעֵי אוֹהֵב", וּכְדִכְתִיב (דְּבָרִים ו, ה): "וּבְכָל מְאֹדֶךָ" וּפֵרְשׁוּ (בְּרָכוֹת נד.) "בְּכָל מִדָּה וּמִדָּה וְכוּ'" כְּדֵי לִכְלֹל כָּל הַמִּדּוֹת בְּחֶסֶד וְנִמְצָא סוֹד הַנְהָגָתוֹ מֵהַמַּלְכוּת וְעִם הֱיוֹת שֶׁהִיא פוֹעֶלֶת דִּין הִיא קְשׁוּרָה בְּחֶסֶד, וְהַיְּנוּ מִדַּת נַחוּם אִישׁ גַם זוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אוֹמֵר "גַם זוֹ לְטוֹבָה", רָצָה לְקָשְׁרָה תָּמִיד בְּצַד הַחֶסֶד הַנִּקְרָא טוֹב וְהָיָה אוֹמֵר גַּם זוֹ שֶׁנִּרְאֶה שֶׁהִיא בִּשְׂמֹאל קְשׁוּרָה בַּגְּבוּרָה אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא לְטוֹבָה הִיא קְשׁוּרָה בְּחֶסֶד וְהָיָה שָׂם דַּעְתּוֹ אֶל צַד הַטּוֹב בַּמִּדָּה הַהִיא וּמַסְתִּיר דִּינֶיהָ. וְזוֹ הִיא הַנְהָגָה גְּדוֹלָה לְהִקָּשֵׁר בְּחֶסֶד תָּמִיד.

(ב) וּבַתִּקּוּנִים פֵּרְשׁוּ (בַּהַקְדָּמָה) "אֵיזֶה חָסִיד הַמִּתְחַסֵּד עִם קוֹנוֹ". לְפִי שֶׁגְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים שֶׁאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה בַּתַּחְתּוֹנִים צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּכַוֵּן בָּהּ הַתִּקּוּן הָעֶלְיוֹן דֻּגְמָתוֹ, וְהוּא שֶׁגּוֹמֵל חֶסֶד עִם קוֹנוֹ.

Elul 20 (Wednesday, Sep 9)

(1) Chapter 5 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Trait Of Chesed:

The principle by which a human enters the secret of chesed is love of Hashem with the fullest love, such that one will not forsake avodat Hashem for any reason. This is because there is nothing at all as beloved to one as the love of Hashem, Blessed Be. And so, one should first take care of all the requirement of avodah; and what remains afterwards will be for other needs.

This love should be fixed in the heart whether one receives goodnesses from the Holy One of Being or whether one receives suffering and rebuke, one should consider them expressions of love, as it is written (Proverbs 27:6), "Faithful are the wounds of a friend."

And it is as it is written (Deuteronomy 6:5), "and with all your might (meodechah)" - and they explained (Berakhot 54a), "With whatever is measured (midah) to you", so as to include all of the attributes in Chesed. The secret of divine conduct in Malkhut may be expressed with gevurah, but it is connected to Chesed.

This is the trait of Nachum, the man of Gamzu, who would say, "gam zu l'tovah" [this too is for the good]. He wanted to connect all events to the side of Chesed that is called good, and so he would say, "This too," that appears to be with the 'left' that is connected to Gevurah, "is" nothing but "for the good," which is connected to Chesed. And he would put his mind to the side of the good in malchut, hiding its gevurot. And this is a great practice, always to be bound to Chesed.

(2) And in the Tikkunim [in the Zohar], they explained, "Who is pious one (chasid)? One who is kindly (mitchased) with his Maker." Since a person must intend, in the acts of kindness that one does with the lower ones, the Highest tikkun that is its model [the union of the Shekhinah with the Holy One of Being] and that is bestowing Kindness to one's Maker.

(א) מהחסד בבני אדם ילמד החסד עם קונו: וְעַתָּה צָרִיךְ לָדַעַת כַּמָּה הֵן מִדּוֹת גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים בִּבְנֵי אָדָם, וְכֻלָּם יַעֲשֶׂה עִם קוֹנוֹ לְמַעְלָה אִם יִרְצֶה לִקְנוֹת מִדַּת הַחֶסֶד, וְלָזֶה נֹאמַר כִּי מִדּוֹת גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים הֵם אֵלּוּ:

(ב) רִאשׁוֹנָה - בְּלֵדַת הָאָדָם צָרִיךְ לִגְמֹל עִמּוֹ כָּל תִּקּוּן לִמְזוֹנוֹ. אִם כֵּן יַעֲלֶה בְּדַעְתּוֹ עֵת לֵדַת הַבִּינָה - הַתִּפְאֶרֶת. וַיְהִי בְּהַקְשֹׁתָהּ בְּלִדְתָּהּ מִצַּד הַדִּין חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, יֵצֵא הַתִּפְאֶרֶת לְצַד הַגְּבוּרוֹת וְלֵדָתָהּ בְּקֹשִׁי, צָרִיךְ לְתַקֵּן שָׁם כָּל הָאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁתִּהְיֶה לֵדַת הַתִּפְאֶרֶת לְצַד הַיְּמִין כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַוָּלָד בְּלִי מוּם כְּלָל כִּדְאָמְרִינַן "וְתוֹצִיא לָאוֹר מִשְׁפָּטֵינוּ קָדוֹשׁ" דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיּוֹצִיא הַתִּפְאֶרֶת מִשְׁפָּט לְצַד הָאוֹר שֶׁהוּא הַיָּמִין וְיִהְיֶה קָדוֹשׁ וְנִבְדָּל מִן הַגְּבוּרוֹת, וּבָזֶה נִכְלָל הֱיוֹתוֹ מְכַוֵּן בְּמַעֲשָׂיו לְקוֹשְׁרוֹ תָמִיד בַּחֶסֶד וּלְהוֹצִיא מִן הַבִּינָה בְּצַד הַחֶסֶד וְאָז יֵצֵא הַוָּלָד מְזֹּרָז וּמְלֻבָּן וְכִמְעַט בָּזֶה נִכְלָל כָּל אַזְהָרָה שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְעוֹרְרוּ הַגְּבוּרוֹת תִּגְבֹּרֶת הַדִּינִים שָׁם וְיִהְיֶה קֹשִׁי בְּלֵדָתָהּ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם.

(ג) שְׁנִיָּה - לָמוּל אֶת הַוָּלָד הַיְנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּתִקּוּנֵי מִצְוֹתָיו. שֶׁכָּל אֵיזֶה צַד קְלִפָּה וְעָרְלָה הַמִטַפֶלֶת אֶל הַיְסוֹד יָמוּל אֹתָהּ וְיִרְדֹּף אַחַר כָּל אֹתָם הַגּוֹרְמִים שָׁם עָרְלָה וְיַחְזִירֵם בִּתְשׁוּבָה, בְּאֹפֶן שֶׁבִּהְיוֹתוֹ מָל אֶת עָרְלַת לְבָבָם גּוֹרֵם שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַצַּדִּיק הָעֶלְיוֹן בְּלִי עָרְלָה וְיַעֲמֹד בְּחָזְקָה לְתַקֵּן כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הַגּוֹרְמִים שָׁם עָרְלָה, וְלָזֶה פִּנְחָס כְּשֶׁמָּל עָרְלַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל זָכָה אֶל כְּהֻנָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁגָּמַל חֶסֶד עִם קוֹנוֹ בְּסוֹד הַמִּילָה שֶׁמָּל הַיְסוֹד מֵאוֹתָהּ עָרְלָה זָכָה אֶל הַחֶסֶד. וְכֵן מִזֶּה יִלְמֹד אֶל כָּל שְׁאָר מִדּוֹת הַחֶסֶד.

(ד) שְׁלִישִׁית - לְבַקֵּר חוֹלִים וּלְרַפְּאוֹתָם. כָּךְ יָדוּעַ שֶׁהַשְּׁכִינָה הִיא חוֹלַת אַהֲבָה מֵהַיִּחוּד כְּדִכְתִיב (שיר השירים ב, ה) וּרְפוּאָתָהּ בְּיַד הָאָדָם לְהָבִיא לָהּ סַמָּנִים יָפִים כְּדִכְתִיב (שָׁם) "סַמְּכוּנִי בָּאֲשִׁישׁוֹת רַפְּדוּנִי בַּתַּפּוּחִים" וּפֵרְשׁוּ בַּתִּקּוּנִים (דַּף לט:) שֶׁסּוֹד אֲשִׁישׁוֹת הַיְנוּ כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הַנִּקְשָׁרִים בְּמַלְכוּת, בְּאֵשׁ י' חֶסֶד, וּבְאֵשׁ ה' גְּבוּרָה, בִּשְׁנֵי זְרוֹעוֹת וְשָׁם הִיא נִסְמֶכֶת עֲלֵיהֶם וּמִי שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה זֶה סוֹמֵךְ הַחוֹלֶה בְּחָלְיוֹ.

(ה) הַשֵּׁנִי, "רַפְּדוּנִי בַּתַּפּוּחִים" פֵּרוּשׁ לְקָשְׁרָה בֵּין נֶצַח וְהוֹד שֶׁשָּׂם הִיא רְפִידָתָהּ בִּהְיוֹתָהּ חִוָּר וְסוּמָּק כַּתַּפּוּחִים הַלָּלוּ שֶׁגַּוָּנֵיהֶם מְזוּגִים מִצַּד הַחֶסֶד. וְצָרִיךְ לְבַקְּרָהּ וְלִזְכֹּר אֹתָהּ וּלְחַלּוֹת פָּנֶיהָ שֶּׁתְּקַבֵּל מַאֲכָל וּמַשְׁקֵה מֵהַשֶּׁפַע הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁהִיא מוֹנַעַת עַצְמָהּ מִמֶּנּוּ, וַתִּקְצַר נַפְשָׁהּ בַּעֲמַל יִשְׂרָאֵל. כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהוּא בְּחוֹלִים הַגַּשְׁמִיִּים, כָּךְ צָרִיךְ בְּחוֹלִים הָעֶלְיוֹנִים שֶׁהִיא חוֹלָה כִּדְאָמְרָן. וְהוּא חוֹלֶה דְּנָע מֵאַתְרֵיהּ - עָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי בִּינָה, וְנָד אַבַּתְרָהּ בְּעָלְמָא דֵין כְּדִכְתִיב (מִשְׁלֵי כז, ח): "כְּצִפּוֹר נוֹדֶדֶת מִן קִנָּהּ" שֶׁהִיא הַשְּׁכִינָה "כֵּן אִישׁ נוֹדֵד מִמְּקוֹמוֹ" , וּנְטִיר לָהּ וְאוֹמֵי דְּלָא יְתֵיב לְאַתְרֵיהּ עַד דְּיַחֲזִיר לָהּ לְאַתְרָהּ, הִנֵּה גַּם הוּא מְחֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵנוּ מְדֻכָּא לִרְצוֹנוֹ מֵעֲוֹנֹתֵינוּ וּרְפוּאַת שְׁנֵיהֶם בְּיָדֵינוּ. וְרָאוּי לְבַקְּרָם וּלְהַזְמִין צָרְכֵיהֶם בְּתוֹרָה וּבְמִצְוֹת.

(ו) רְבִיעִית - לָתֵת צְדָקָה לָעֲנִיִּים. וְדֻגְמָתָם יְסוֹד וּמַלְכוּת. וְהַצְּדָקָה הָרְאוּיָה אֲלֵיהֶם פֵּרְשׁוּ בַּתִּקּוּנִים (תִּקּוּן י"ח, דַּף ל"ג.) לְקַיֵּם צ' אָמֵנִים ד' קְדֻשּׁוֹת ק' בְּרָכוֹת ה' חֻמְּשֵׁי תוֹרָה, בְּכָל יוֹם. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה כָּל אֶחָד כְּפִי כֹּחוֹ יַמְשִׁיךְ צְדָקָה מִתִּפְאֶרֶת לָעֲנִיִּים הַלָּלוּ וְיַזְמִין אֲלֵיהֶם "לֶקֶט" מֵהַסְּפִירוֹת כֻּלָּם, "שִׁכְחָה" מִסּוֹד הָעֹמֶר הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁהִיא בִּינָה "וּפֵאָה" מִבְּחִינַת הַמַּלְכוּת עַצְמָהּ שֶׁהִיא פֵּאָה לִשְׁאָר הַמִּדּוֹת, וּכְתִיב (וַיִּקְרָא יט, י): "לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם" שֶׁאֲפִילוּ הַתִּפְאֶרֶת גֵּר לְמַטָּה בַּמַּלְכוּת, וְצָרִיךְ לָתֵת לוֹ מֵאֵלּוּ הַתִּקּוּנִים, וְכֵן מַעֲשֵׂר עָנִי לְהַעֲלוֹת הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁהִיא מַעֲשֵׂר אֶל הַיְסוֹד הַנִּקְרָא עָנִי וְאִם יְקַשְּׁרֶנָהּ בַּתִּפְאֶרֶת יִתֵּן מִן הַמַּעֲשֵׂר אֶל הַגֵּר. וְכַמָּה תִּקּוּנִים נִכְלָלִים בָּזֶה.

(ז) חֲמִישִׁית - הַכְנָסַת אוֹרְחִים. הֵם הַתִּפְאֶרֶת וְהַיְסוֹד לָתֵת לָהֶם בֵּית מְנוּחָה שֶּׁיָּנוּחוּ בָהּ דְּהַיְנוּ הַמַּלְכוּת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵם הוֹלְכֵי דְּרָכִים בְּסוֹד הַגְלוֹת לְחַזֵּר עַל אֲבֵדָתָם צָרִיךְ לְהַכְנִיסָם שָׁם. וּלְפִי הַמִּתְבָּאֵר בַּזֹּהַר (וַיֵּרָא, ח"א קטו:) שֶׁזֶּה הַמִּצְוָה מִתְקַיֶּמֶת בְּהוֹלְכֵי עַל דֶּרֶךְ שִׂיחוֹ, שֶׁהֵם הַמִּתְגָּרְשִׁים מִבֵּיתֵיהֶם לַעֲסֹק בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁגּוֹרְמִים שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הָאוֹרְחִים עוֹסְקִים בְּצָרְכֵי הַמַּלְכוּת. וְכֵן כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה יִחוּד אֶל הַתִּפְאֶרֶת בַּמַּלְכוּת מִבְּחִינָה אַחֶרֶת וְקוֹבֵעַ מָקוֹם לְתוֹרָתוֹ, גּוֹרֵם שֶׁהַתִּפְאֶרֶת יַעֲשֶׂה מְלוֹנוֹ בַּמַּלְכוּת. וְכֵן פֵּרְשׁוּ בַּתִּקּוּנִים (בַּהַקְדָּמָה) וְאֶל הָאוֹרְחִים צָרִיךְ לְהָכִין אֲכִילָה שְׁתִיָּה לְוָיָה, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהַכְנִיס הַתִּפְאֶרֶת וְהַיְסוֹד אֶל הַמַּלְכוּת וְלָתֵת לָהֶם שָׁם "אֲכִילָה" מֵעֵין "בָּאתִי לְגַנִּי אָכַלְתִּי יַעְרִי עִם דִּבְשִׁי" (שיר השירים ה, א) שֶׁהוּא שֶׁפַע רָאוּי לַהַנְהָגָה הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה הַמִּתְפַּשֶּׁטֶת מִצַּד הַגְּבוּרָה הַמְּתוּקָה. וּ"שְׁתִיָּה" מֵעֵין "שָׁתִיתִי יֵינִי עִם חֲלָבִי" שֶׁהוּא שֶׁפַע פְּנִימִי מִן הַיַּיִן הַמְּשֻׁמָּר וּמִסּוֹד הֶחָלָב הַמִּתְמַתֵּק לְקַשֵּׁר הַתִּפְאֶרֶת וְהַמַּלְכוּת -יַעֲקֹב וְרָחֵל, וְהַגְּבוּרָה בְּנֶצַח אוֹ בְּהוֹד כִּי כֵן פֵּרְשׁוּ בְּרַעְיָא מְהֵימְנָא (וַיִּקְרָא, דַּף ד.). וְהַ"לְּוָיָה" לְהָבִיא עַצְמוֹ וְנִשְׁמָתוֹ שָׁם עִמָּהֶם בִּדְיוֹקַן עֶלְיוֹן לְלַוּוֹתָם שָׁם. עוֹד לְהָבִיא שְׁאָר הַסְּפִירוֹת שָׁם עִמָּהֶם לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם לְוָיָה טוֹבָה. וְכַמָּה דְּבָרִים נִכְלָלִים בְּתִקּוּן זֶה.

(ח) כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר, יִשְׁתַּדֵּל בְּצֹרֶךְ הֶדְיוֹט וִיכַוֵּן בִּרְמִיזָתוֹ וּמֻבְטָח הוּא שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה לְמַעְלָה כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּקִי בַּסּוֹדוֹת. וּמַה טוֹב לְהַזְכִּיר בְּפִיו רְמִיזַת כַּוָּנָתוֹ הַנְּכוֹנָה בִּשְׁעַת מַעֲשֶׂה לְקַיֵּם "בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ" (דברים ל, יד).

(ט) שִׁשִּׁית - עֵסֶק הַחַי עִם הַמֵּת. וְדָבָר זֶה הֵיאַךְ יִתְיַחֵס לְמַעְלָה קָשֶׁה מְאֹד, כִּי הוּא סוֹד הַסְּפִירוֹת שֶׁהֵם מִתַּעֲלֻמוֹת וּמִסְתַּלְּקוֹת אֶל נַרְתִּיקָן לְמַעְלָה כַּמָּה צָרִיךְ לְתַקְּנָן לְהַרְחִיצָן מִכָּל חֶלְאַת עָוֹן וּלְהַלְבִּישָׁן לְבָנִים לִבּוּנֵי הַסְּפִירוֹת בְּאוֹר הַמַּעֲשֶׂה הַטּוֹב, לְהִתְעַלּוֹת בְּסוֹד אֶחָד לְקָשְׁרָם לְמַעְלָה וְלָשֵׂאת אֹתָם עַל הַכָּתֵף סוֹד עִלּוּי הַסְּפִירוֹת אַחַת אֶל אֶחָת עַד שֶׁיִּתְעַלּוּ לְמַעְלָה מֵהַכָּתֵף שֶׁהוּא תְּחִלַּת חִבּוּר הַזְּרוֹעַ בַּגּוּף, וּלְמַעְלָה מִזֶּה הוּא סוֹד הַהֶעְלֵם שֶׁאֵין הַשָּׂגָה בוֹ. וִיכַוֵּן בְּסוֹד הַקְּבוּרָה לְפָסוּק (דְּבָרִים לד, ו): "וַיִּקְבֹּר אֹתוֹ בַגַּי" דִּמְתַּרְגְּמִינַן בִּתְלֵיסַר מְכִילִין דְּרַחֲמֵי, שֶׁהֵן נוֹבְעוֹת בַּכֶּתֶר בִּבְחִינוֹתָיו הַפֹּנוֹת לְמַטָּה לְרַחֵם בַּתַּחְתּוֹנִים, וּמִשָּׁם יַעֲלֶה הַנִּקְבָּר אֶל הָעֵדֶן הָעֶלְיוֹן חָכְמָה שֶׁבַּכֶּתֶר, וְצָרִיךְ הִתְיַשְּׁבוּת הַדַּעַת בָּזֶה מְאֹד.

(י) שְׁבִיעִית - הַכְנָסַת כַּלָּה לְחֻפָּה. וּבָזֶה נִכְלָלִים כָּל צָרְכֵי הַיִּחוּד שֶׁכָּל הַתְּפִלּוֹת וְהַיִּחוּדִים הֵם סוֹד הַכְנָסַת כַּלָּה לַחֻפָּה, וְעִקָּרָהּ בְּסוֹד הַתְּפִלָּה מִכַּמָּה מַדְרֵגוֹת זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ: קָרְבָּנוֹת, זְמִירוֹת, תְּפִילָה מְיֻשָּׁב שֶׁבָּהּ קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ, אַחַר כָּךְ תְּפִלָה מְעֻמָּד וּשְׁאָר תִּקּוּנִים הַבָּאִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם, הַכֹּל גְּמִילוּת חֶסֶד אֶל הֶחָתָן וְהַכַּלָּה לְפַקֵּחַ עַל צָרְכֵיהֶם, וְתִקּוּנֵי זִווּגָם.

(יא) שְׁמִינִית - הֲבָאַת שָׁלוֹם בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ. שֶׁהֵם הַתִּפְאֶרֶת וְהַיְסוֹד, לִפְעָמִים יִתְרַחֲקוּ זֶה מִזֶּה וְצָרִיךְ לְהַשְׁלִימָם וּלְתַקְּנָם שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁוִים וְנִקְשָׁרִים יַחַד בְּאַהֲבָה וְחִבָּה וְזֶה עַל יְדֵי כִּשְׁרוֹן הַמַּעֲשֶׂה הַטּוֹב שֶׁכַּאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה הַיְסוֹד נֹטֶה אֶל הַשְּׂמֹאל וְהַתִּפְאֶרֶת אֶל הַיְּמִין, אָז הֵם נֶגְדִּיִּים זֶה לָזֶה עַד שֶׁהַיְּסוֹד יִטֶּה אֶל הַיָּמִין כָּמוֹהוּ, וְכַאֲשֶׁר חַס וְשָׁלוֹם יֵשׁ אֵיזֶה פְּגַם שֶׁל עָוֹן בָּעוֹלָם אָז יֵשׁ שִׂנְאָה וְנֶגְדִּיִּוּת בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם וְאֵין יִחוּד נִקְשָׁר בֵּין הַסְּפִירוֹת כְּלָל. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה יִהְיֶה גַּם כֵּן בֵּין כָּל שְׁתֵּי סְפִירוֹת שֶׁהֵם יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל, בֵּין הַחָכְמָה וְהַבִּינָה אוֹ בֵּין הַחֶסֶד וְהַגְּבוּרָה אוֹ בֵּין הַנֵּצַח וְהַהוֹד, צָרִיךְ לְהַכְנִיס שָׁלוֹם בֵּינֵיהֶם וְהַיְּנוּ הֲבָאַת שָׁלוֹם בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְכֵן בֵּין אִישׁ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ דְּהַיְנוּ הַיְסוֹד שָׁלוֹם בֵּין הַתִּפְאֶרֶת וּמַלְכוּת וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מִדַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם, הוּא גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים לְמַעְלָה:

(1) From Kindness With People, One Learns Kindness With One's Creator:

Now first one needs to know Hashem's acts of kindness towards people: one should do all of them with their Creator, if one wants to acquire the trait of chesed. The acts of kindness are these:

(2) The first: When a person is born, every arrangement for their nourishment must be provided. One should call to mind the giving birth of Binah to Tiferet [in which, due to an element of contraction of divine being, gevurah predominates, although Tiferet is a mix of chesed and gevurah].

And it is that in its difficulty in its birth from the side of gevurah, has v'shalom that Tiferet comes out to the side of the gevurot and its birth would be in harshness; as such there is a need to fix all that is possible there - that the birth of Tiferet be to the 'right side,' [chesed] so that the child be without flaw at all [Tiferet is the manifestation of the Holy One of Being, Ramak refers here to how human beings can act so that the manifestation of God in the world be one of kindness].

[It is] as we say, "And bring our judgement out to the light, Holy one" - which is that Hashem take out the gevurah of Tiferet to the side of the light, which is the right, and it will be holy and separated from the gevurot. And in this is included one's having in mind in one's actions to always bind to Chesed, to have it come out from Binah to the side of Chesed. And then the child will come out vital and lustrous. And almost every warning in the Torah is included in this; so that one not arouse an intensification of the gevurot, and there not be difficulty in Tiferets birth, has v'shalom.

(3) The second: To circumcise the child - that is, the tikkun of the mitzvot. One should circumcise any klipah and "foreskin" that is attached to Yesod [the sefirah which emits divine shefah into the womb of the world]. One should pursue all those who cause foreskin to grow on Yesod and bring them to teshuvah by circumcising the foreskin of their hearts so that Supernal Tzaddik [the source of righteousness in this world and the mediator between humans and the higher sefirot] will be without a foreskin.

And one should stand strongly to fix all of the things that cause foreskin there [i.e. acts of wickedness which prevent the downflow of blessings into the world]. And so when Pinchas circumcised the foreskin of the Children of Israel [by preventing them from engaging in wickedness], he merited the priesthood. Since he gave kindness to the Maker in the secret of circumcision - that he circumcised Yesod - he merited chesed. From this, one should learn the way of all the traits of chesed.

(4) The third: To visit the sick and to heal them. It is thus known that the Shechinah is lovesick for unification, as it is written (Song of Songs 2:5), "for I am sick with love." Her healing is in the hand of humans, to bring Hashem's proper herbs, as it is written, "Support me with fruitcakes, lay apples below me." As explained in the Tikkunim (p. 39b) that the secret of fruitcakes (ashishot) is all of the things that are connected to Malkhut through the man (eesh) which contains yud, Chesed, and through the woman (eeshah) that includes heh, Gevurah, the two forearms. And the Shechinah supports Herself upon them there. And whoever does this supports the patient in his sickness.

(5) The explanation of the second phrase "lay apples below me" is to connect Her between Victory (Netsach) and Majesty (Hod) [i.e. between the thighs]. As Her couch is there, in Her being white and red [the colors of ovum and blood, or perhaps semen and blood?]- like those apples the colors of which are mixed - from the side of Chesed. And one needs to visit Her, remember Her and to beseech Her presence, that She accept food and drink from the supernal flow [Yesod, the divine phallus], which She abstains from because she is sick over the wrongdoings of Israel.

Just as one behaves with with the ill, so should one be with the Supernal Ill One [the Shechinah], as She is sick, like we said, and Hashem is also sick, as Hashem is 'wandering' in the world to come, Binah 'and roaming' from Her in this World; as it is written (Proverbs 27:8), "As a bird roaming from its nest" - which is the Shechinah - "so is someone roaming from their place." And Hashem waits for Her and swears to her not to return to Hashem's place until bringing Her back to Her place. Behold, Hashem is also 'wounded because of our sins, willingly crushed because of our iniquities.' And the healing of both of Them is in our hands! Therefore it is fitting to visit them and to procure their needs through Torah and mitzvot.

(6) The fourth: To give tzedekah to the poor, the model of whom is Yesod and Malchut. And they have explained in the Tikkunim (Tikkun 18, p. 33a) that the charity that is fit for them is to every day say ninety amens, four of kedushah, one hundred blessings and five books of the Torah (as these numbers corresponds to the letters that spell out the word, tzedekah). In this way, everyone can draw tzedakah from Tiferet to these Poor Ones. And one should procure for them gleanings from all of the Sefirot, forgotten sheaves from the secret of the Highest Sheaf - which is Binah - and the corner [peah] from the aspect of Malchut itself, as it is the corner for the other traits (it is the outermost Sefirah).

It is written (Leviticus 19:10), "for the poor and the stranger shall you leave them" - as even Tiferet is a stranger when it is below in Malchut, and one must give to it from these tikkunim. And so too, must one give the tithe to the poor to bring up Malchut, which is "Tithe" [ma'aser], to Yesod, which is called "the Poor". And if one connects Malchut with Tiferet one will give from the Tithe to the Stranger. And several tikkunim are included in this.

(7) The fifth: Bringing in guests [offering hospitality to strangers and wayfarers]. These are Tiferet and Yesod - to give them a house of rest [beyt menuchah], such that they rest there, meaning in Malchut. Since they are Wayfarers in the secret of the exile - to search for what they lost [the Shechinah] - he must bring them in there. And according to what is explained in the Zohar, Vayera 1:115b, this mitzvah is done by those who are 'those who travelled talked' (Judges 5:10); which are those exiled from their homes to be involved in Torah [this is the practice of Gerushin, or leaving home as a homeless wanderer to study Torah and practice asceticism]. This causes the Guests [Yesod and Tiferet] to be involved in the needs of Malchut.

And so, anyone who creates a unification for Tiferet in Malchut in a different sense, such as fixing a place for Torah study [as opposed to going wandering], causes Tiferet to make its residence in Malchut as they explained in the Zohar.

One must prepare food and drink and accompany the Guests on their way. That is one must bring Tiferet and Yesod into Malchut and give them food, as in, "I have come to my garden, I have eaten my honeycombs and my honey" (Song of Songs 5:1), which is the flow of divine bounty to the lower worlds from the side of sweetened Gevurah; and drink, similar to "I have drunken my wine with my milk,' which is the inner flow from the guarded wine and the sweetened milk of binding Tiferet and Malchut - Yaakov and Rachel - and Gevurah with Netzach or Hod. This is as they explain in the Raaya Meheimena (Zohar Vayikra, p. 4b).

To accompany them is to bring oneself and one's soul there with them in their Supernal Form and thus to also bring the other Sefirot there with them, to accompany them all. This is included in this tikkun.

(8) The general principle of the thing is that one make effort about the needs of the commoner and have intention for the allusion [one should intend the service to be to the sefirot as outlined above]. And one can be assured that above it will be done as below, once one is an expert in the secrets. And how good is it to mention the allusion of his intention with one's mouth at the time of the deed! Thus one fulfills "in your mouth and in your heart to do it" (Deuteronomy 30:14)!

(9) The sixth: Attending to the dead. How this relates to the higher worlds is difficult to explain, as it is secret of the Sefirot, which are concealed, withdrawing into their sheaths above. How much must one repair them to wash them from the sickness of our wrongdoing; to clothe them in white - the whitening of the Sefirot in the light of good deeds - to have them rise up in the secret of One; to connect them above; and to carry them on the shoulders one by one which is the secret of the raising of the Sefirot, until they are risen up over the shoulder which joins the forearm with the body. Above this is hidden in secrecy, beyond understanding.

About the secret of burial, one should have intention for the verse (Deuteronomy 34:6), "And He buried him [Moses] in the valley (gai)," which we translate [into Aramaic], "with thirteen crowns of mercy" [as the numerical equivalent of gai is thirteen]. They emerge from Keter from its aspect that faces downwards to have compassion on those below. And from there the buried one rises to the Highest Eden - Chochmah in Keter. And there is a need for much deliberation to understand this.

(10) The seventh: Bringing one engaged to the chuppah. All of the needs of unification are included in this, as all the prayers and the unifications are included in the secret of bringing one engaged under the chuppah. Its essence is the secret of prayer, which contains several levels, one after another: the korbanot; the shirim; the seated recital of the Shema and its blessings; the Amidah and the rest of the tikkunim that come after them. It is all the giving of kindness upon those to be married, to supervise all of their needs and the tikkunim of their coupling [zivug].

(11) The eighth: The bringing of peace between people, i.e. Tiferet and Yesod. Sometimes, they become distant from each other, and there is a need to bring peace between them and to repair them, that they be of equal stature and connected together in love and friendship. And this happens through the power of good deeds. As when Yesod inclines to the left and Tiferet to the right, they are then in opposition to each other until Yesod inclines to the right [i.e. to chesed] also. But when there is, has v'shalom, a flaw of wrongdoing in the world, then there is hatred and opposition and unification among the Sefirot is not possible at all. It is the same with all the pairs of Sefirot that are right and left: Chesed and Gevurah, Netzach and Hod- one needs to bring peace between them, and that is the bringing of peace between people. And likewise, between spouses is peace between Tiferet and Malchut, and everything similar in the ways of peace counts as acts of kindness above.

(א) היאך ירגיל אדם עצמו במדת הגבורה: דַּע כִּי כָל פְּעֻלּוֹת הִתְעוֹרְרוּת יֵצֶר הָרַע הֵם מַמָּשׁ מְעוֹרְרוֹת הַגְּבוּרוֹת הַחֲזָקוֹת, לְכָךְ לֹא יִתְנוֹעֵעַ יֵצֶר הָרַע שֶׁלֹּא יְעוֹרֵר גְּבוּרָה. וְהַטַּעַם שֶׁהָאָדָם נוֹצָר בִּשְׁתֵּי יְצִירוֹת יֵצֶר טוֹב וְיֵצֶר הָרָע, זֶה חֶסֶד וְזֶה גְבוּרָה, אָמְנָם פֵּרְשׁוּ בַּזֹּהַר בְּפָרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית (דַּף מט.) שֶׁיֵּצֶר טוֹב נִבְרָא לָאָדָם עַצְמוֹ לְצָרְכּוֹ, וְיֵצֶר הָרַע לְצֹרֶךְ אִשְׁתּוֹ. רְאֵה כַּמָּה מְתוּקִים דְּבָרָיו הֲרֵי הַתִּפְאֶרֶת בַּעַל הַחֶסֶד נוֹטֶה אֶל הַיְּמִין, וְכָל הַנְהָגוֹתָיו בַּיָּמִין - יֵצֶר טוֹב. וְהַנְּקֵבָה שְׂמָאלִית וְכָל הַנְהָגוֹתֶיהָ בַּגְּבוּרָה אִם כֵּן רָאוּי שֶׁלֹּא יִתְעוֹרֵר יֵצֶר הָרַע לְתוֹעֶלֶת עַצְמוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי מְעוֹרֵר אָדָם הָעֶלְיוֹן בַּגְּבוּרָה וּמְאַבֵּד הָעוֹלָם. אִם כֵּן כָּל מִדּוֹת שֶׁיְּעוֹרֵר הָאָדָם לְעַצְמוֹ לְצַד הַגְּבוּרָה וְיֵצֶר הָרַע פּוֹגֵם הָאָדָם הָעֶלְיוֹן, וּמִכָּאן יִרְאֶה כַּמָּה מְגֻנֶּה הַכַּעַס וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בוֹ שֶׁהוּא מַגְבִּיר הַגְּבוּרוֹת הַקָּשׁוֹת, אָמְנָם יֵצֶר הָרַע צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת קָשׁוּר וְאָסוּר לְבִלְתִּי יִתְעוֹרֵר לְשׁוּם פְּעֻלָּה שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם מִפְּעֻלּוֹת גּוּפוֹ לֹא לְחִמּוּד בִּיאָה וְלֹא לְחֶמְדַּת מָמוֹן וְלֹא לְצַד כַּעַס וְלֹא לְצַד כָּבוֹד כְּלָל.

(ב) אָמְנָם לְצֹרֶךְ אִשְׁתּוֹ יְעוֹרֵר יִצְרוֹ בְּנַחַת לְצַד הַגְּבוּרוֹת הַמְּתוּקוֹת כְּגוֹן לְהַלְבִּישׁה, לְתַקֵּן לָהּ בַּיִת, וְיֹאמַר הֲרֵי בָּזֶה שֶׁאֲנִי מַלְבִּישׁה אֲנִי מְתַקֵּן הַשְּׁכִינָה, שֶׁהִיא מִתְקַשֶּׁטֶת בַּבִּינָה שֶׁהוּא גְּבוּרָה דְכָלִיל כּוּלְּהוּ גְּבוּרוֹת וְהֵן מִתְמַתְקוֹת בַּהֲמוֹן רַחֲמֶיהָ. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל תִּקּוּנֵי הַבַּיִת הֵם תִּקּוּנֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה שֶׁהִיא מִתְמַתֶּקֶת מִצַּד יֵצֶר הָרַע הַנִּבְרָא לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹן קוֹנוֹ לֹא זוּלַת, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יְכַוֵּן הָאָדָם בּוֹ שׁוּם הֲנָאָה שֶׁל כְּלוּם אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁאִשְׁתּוֹ מִתְנָאָה לְפָנָיו בְּדִירָה נָאָה יְכַוֵּן לְתִקּוּנֵי שְׁכִינָה שֶׁהִיא מִתְתַּקֶּנֶת בִּגְבוּרוֹת הַשְּׁמָאלִיוֹת הַטּוֹבוֹת שֶׁמִּשָּׁם הָעֹשֶׁר וְהַכָּבוֹד. וּמִצַּד זֶה יְעוֹרֵר הַיֵּצֶר הָרַע לְאַהֲבָתָהּ, וְאָז יְכַוֵּן אֶל הַשְּׂמֹאל הַמִּתְעוֹרֵר לְקָרְבָה בְּסוֹד "שְׂמֹאלוֹ תַּחַת לְרֹאשִׁי" (שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים ח, ג) אֵינָהּ מִתְקַשֶּׁרֶת תְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא מִצַּד הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאַחַר כָּךְ "וִימִינוֹ תְּחַבְּקֵנִי" יְכַוֵּן לְמַתֵּק כָּל אֹתָם הַתִּקּוּנִים בְּיִצְרוֹ הַטּוֹב, וּלְתַקֵּן אֹתָהּ מַמָּשׁ לְשַמְּחָהּ בִּדְבַר מִצְוָה לֶשֶׁם הַיִּחוּד עֶלְיוֹן הֲרֵי הִמְתִּיק כָּל הַגְּבוּרוֹת וְתִקְּנָם בִּימִין, וְדֶרֶךְ זֶה יִהְיֶה לְכָל מִינֵי חֶמְדָּה הַבָּאִים מִצַּד יֵצֶר הָרַע יִהְיֶה עִקָּרָם לְתִקּוּנֵי הָאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר הוֹכִיחַ ה' לוֹ לְעֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ, וְיַהֲפֹךְ כוּלָּם אַחַר כָּךְ לַעֲבוֹדַת ה', לְקָשְׁרָם בַּיָּמִין:

Elul 21 (Thursday, Sep 10)

Chapter 6 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Trait Of Gevurah:

Know that all actions of the arousal of the yetzer hara truly arouse the strong gevurot. Hence one should not activate the yetzer hara, so that one not arouse Gevurah [judgement, severity]. And the explanation is that a human is created with two impulses - the yetzer hara and the yetzer hatov, this is Chesed and that is Gevurah. However they explained in the Zohar in Parshat Bereishit (p. 49a) that the good impulse was created for the human themselves for one's own needs, and the yetzer hara was created for the need of one's spouse. See how sweet are its words! Tiferet, which is the husband of Chesed inclines to the right; and all of its actions are with the right, the yetzer hatov. And Malchut is to the left and all of is actions are with Gevurah. If so, it is fitting not to arouse the yetzer hara for one's own sake; as onee so arouses Supernal Human in Gevurah and destroys the world [the According to Kabbalah (see the sefer Nefesh HaChaim for details) the "supernal human" is a cosmic structure which brings blessing or witholds it according to human actions; it is a kind of interface that projects human actions into the fundamental structure of the cosmos itself].

If so, any traits that a human arouses for oneself that are from the side of gevurah harms the Supernal Human. And from this, one should see how contemptible angry traits are - as they intensify the harsh gevurot. Indeed, the yetzer hara must be tied and bound, that it not arouse any physical action in the world - not for intercourse, money, nor for anger or the pursuit of honour at all.

(2) However for the need of one's spouse one should gently arouse the yetzer ha ra in the sense of sweetened gevurot, such as to provide what one's spouse needs in the world. And one should say, "Behold, with that which I am clothing my spouse, I am repairing the Divine Presence" - as it is adorned by Binah, which is Gevurah that contains all of the gevurot, but they are sweetened by Her many mercies. Hence, all domestic duties are tikkunim of the Shechinah, which is sweetened from the yetzer hara that was created to do the will of its Maker and nothing else.

A person should not not intend any pleasure of anything for oneself; but when one's spouse enjoys a pleasant household one should intend it for the tikkun of the Shechinah whose tikkun is by the positive gevurot of the left, such as wealth. And from this angle, one should arouse the yetzer hara for Her love, and then intend towards the left that is aroused, to bring it close with the secret of "His left is under my head" (Song of Songs 8:3): At first, one only connects from the side of the left, and afterwards - "and with his right, he embraces me" - one intends to sweeten all of those tikkunim with the yetzer hara and to make tikkunim for the Shechinah to have Her rejoice in the matter of a mitzvah for the sake of the Highest unification. Behold, one thus sweetens all of the gevurot and repairs them with the right [chesed]. And in this way should all desires coming from the side of the yetzer hara be primarily for the arrangements of one's spouse, whom Hashem has shown to one to be an ezer k'negdo [helper equivalent to one, or "against" one]. And one should transform all of the arousals of the yetzer hara afterwards to the service of Hashem to connect them with the right [side of kindness].

In the chapter below the Ramak again returns to the discussion of sacred sexuality, as he will throughout the text.

(א) היאך ירגיל האדם עצמו במדות התפארת: אֵין סָפֵק שֶׁמִּדַּת הַתִּפְאֶרֶת הוּא הָעֵסֶק בַּתּוֹרָה, אָמְנָם צָרִיךְ זְהִירוּת גָּדוֹל שֶׁלֹּא יִתְגָּאֶה אָדָם בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא יִגְרֹם רָעָה גְּדוֹלָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא מִתְגָּאֶה כָּךְ גּוֹרֵם שֶׁמִּדַּת הַתִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁהִיא הַתּוֹרָה תִּתְגָּאֶה וְתִסְתַּלֵּק לְמַעְלָה חַס וְשָׁלוֹם אֶלָּא כָּל הַמַּשְׁפִּיל עַצְמוֹ בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה גּוֹרֵם אֶל הַתִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁתֵּרֵד וְתַשְׁפִּיל עַצְמָהּ לְהַשְׁפִּיעַ לַמַּלְכוּת. וַהֲרֵי לְמַטָּה מֵהַתִּפְאֶרֶת אַרְבַּע סְפִירוֹת וְלָהֶן שָׁלֹשׁ מִדּוֹת:

(ב) רִאשׁוֹנָה - הַמִּתְגָּאֶה עַל תַּלְמִידִים גּוֹרֵם שֶׁהַתִּפְאֶרֶת יִתְגָּאֶה וְיִתְעַלֶּה מֵעַל נֶצַח וָהוֹד שֶׁהֵם לִמֻּדֵי ה' תַּלְמִידֵי הַתִּפְאֶרֶת, וְהַמַּשְׁפִּיל עַצְמוֹ וּמְלַמְּדָהּ בְּאַהֲבָה, גַּם הַתִּפְאֶרֶת יַשְׁפִּיל עַצְמוֹ אֶל תַּלְמִידָיו וְיַשְׁפִּיעֵם, לְפִיכָךְ יִהְיֶה הָאָדָם נוֹחַ לְתַלְמִידָיו וִילַמְּדֵם כַּאֲשֶׁר יוּכְלוּן שְׂאֵת, וְהַתִּפְאֶרֶת בִּזְכוּתוֹ יַשְׁפִּיעַ בְּלִמּוּדֵי ה' כְּפִי בְּחִינָתָם הָרְאוּיָה אֲלֵיהֶם.

(ג) שֵׁנִית - הַמִּתְגָּאֶה בְּתוֹרָתוֹ עַל הֶעָנִי וּמְבַזֶּה אוֹתוֹ, כְּהַהוּא עוּבְדָּא דְּאֵלִיָהוּ שֶׁנִּדְמֶה לְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר כְּעָנִי מְכֹעָר, נִבְזֶה וְנִמְאָס, לְהַכְשִׁילוֹ, שֶׁזָּחָה דַּעְתּוֹ עָלָיו וְגִנָּה אֶת הֶעָנִי וְהוּא הוֹכִיחַ עַל פָּנָיו מוּמוֹ (תַּעֲנִית כ.), כִּי הַמִּתְגָּאֶה עַל הֶעָנִי גּוֹרֵם שֶׁהַתִּפְאֶרֶת יִתְגָּאֶה עַל הַיְסוֹד וְלֹא יַשְׁפִּיעַ בּוֹ, וְאִם תִּהְיֶה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל חָכָם מְיֻשֶּׁבֶת עָלָיו עִם הֶעָנִי אָז הַתִּפְאֶרֶת יַשְׁפִּיעַ בַּיְסוֹד. לְפִיכָךְ יֵחָשֵׁב הֶעָנִי מְאֹד אֵצֶל הֶחָכָם וִיקָרְבֵהוּ, וְכָךְ יֵחָשֵׁב לְמַעְלָה הַיְסוֹד אֵצֶל הַתִּפְאֶרֶת וְיִתְקַשֵּׁר בּוֹ.

(ד) שְׁלִישִׁית - הַמִּתְגָּאֶה בְּתוֹרָתוֹ עַל עַמָּא דְאַרְעָא שֶׁהוּא כְּלַל עַם ה', גּוֹרֵם שֶׁהַתִּפְאֶרֶת יִתְגָּאֶה מֵעַל הַמַּלְכוּת וְלֹא יַשְׁפִּיעַ בָּהּ אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה דַּעְתּוֹ מְעֹרֶבֶת עִם הַבְּרִיּוֹת וְכָל עַם הַיִּשּׁוּב חֲשׁוּבִים לְפָנָיו, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם לְמַטָּה בְּסוֹד הָאָרֶץ וְחַס וְשָׁלוֹם אִם קוֹרֵא אֹתָם חֲמוֹרִים מוֹרִידָם אֶל הַקְּלִפּוֹת לְכָךְ לֹא יִזְכֶּה לְבֵן שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ אוֹר תּוֹרָה כִּדְאִיתָא בַּגְּמָרָא (נְדָרִים פא.). אֵלֶּה יִתְנַהֵג עִמָּהֶם בְּנַחַת עַל פִּי דַרְכָּם, כְּעֵין הַתִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁהוּא מַשְׁפִּיעַ לַמַּלְכוּת וּמַנְהִיגָה כְּפִי עֲנִיּוּת דַּעְתָּהּ, כִּי דַּעְתָּן שֶׁל נָשִׁים קַלָּה (שַׁבָּת לג:) וּבִכְלַל זֶה שֶׁלֹּא יִתְגָּאֶה עַל כָּל חֲלוּשֵׁי הַדַּעַת שֶׁהֵם בִּכְלַל עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ. וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה הַקַּדְמוֹנִים לֹא הָיוּ מִתְגָּאִים בַּתּוֹרָה כְּעוּבְדָּא דְּרַב הַמְנוּנָא בְּפָרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית (דַּף ז.) וּכְעוּבְדָּא דְּרַבִּי חַגַּאי (זֹהַר חֵלֶק א' דַּף קנח.) וּבַתִּקּוּנִים (סוֹף תִּקּוּן כ"ו, דַּף ע"ב, ב) הַהוּא סָבָא דְּבָעוּ לְנַשְּׁקָא לֵיהּ פָּרַח, שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה רוֹצֶה לְהִתְגָּאוֹת בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה.

(ה) עוֹד יִהְיֶה רָגִיל בִּהְיוֹתוֹ נוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה לְכַוֵּן אֶל תִּקּוּנֵי שְׁכִינָה לְתַקְּנָהּ וּלְקַשְּׁטָהּ אֶל הַתִּפְאֶרֶת דְּהַיְנוּ הֲלָכָה אֶל הָאֱמֶת, וְזֶהוּ מַחְלֹקֶת לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם דְּהַיְנוּ חֶסֶד וּגְבוּרָה לָבֹא אֶל הַתִּפְאֶרֶת - שָׁמַיִם, לְהַסְכִּים הֲלָכָה עִמּוֹ. וְכָל מַחְלֹקֶת שֶׁיֵּצֵא מִן הַשּׁוּרָה הַזֹּאת יִבָּדֵל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי לֹא יִרְצֶה הַתִּפְאֶרֶת לְהִתְאַחֵז בַּחוּץ אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה, אִם הוּא לְקַנְטֵר סוֹפָהּ גֵּיהִנֹּם חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, וְאֵין לְךָ מַחְלֹקֶת שֶׁלֹּא יִפְגֹּם הַתִּפְאֶרֶת אֶלָּא מַחְלֹקֶת הַתּוֹרָה לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, שֶׁכָּל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם וְאַהֲבָה בְּסוֹפָהּ.

(ו) וְהָאוֹכֵל הֲנָאוֹת מִדִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה פּוֹגֵם בַּמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת שֶׁהִיא קֹדֶשׁ וּמוֹצִיאָהּ אֶל דִּבְרֵי חוֹל, וְכַאֲשֶׁר יַעֲסֹק בַּתּוֹרָה לַהֲנָאַת גָּבוֹהַּ אַשְׁרֵי חֶלְקוֹ. וְעִקָּר הַכֹּל הוּא לְצָרֵף דַּעְתּוֹ בְּמִבְחַן הַמַּחְשָׁבָה וּלְפַשְׁפֵּשׁ בְּעַצְמוֹ דֶּרֶךְ מַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן אִם יִמָּצֵא שֵׁמֶץ עֶרְוַת דָּבָר יַחֲזֹר בּוֹ, וּלְעוֹלָם יוֹדֶה עַל הָאֱמֶת, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא שָׁם הַתִּפְאֶרֶת מִדַּת אֱמֶת:

(1) Chapter 7 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Trait Of Tiferet:

There is no doubt that the trait of Tiferet is involvement in Torah [since Tiferet is the Holy One of Being, or the relational/revelatory expression of the Ein Sof in the world]. A person needs great care, however, not to become haughty with words of Torah, that they not cause great evil! If one becomes haughty one causes the trait of Tiferet which is the Torah - to become haughty as well and withdraw Above, has v'shalom. Rather anyone that lowers themselves with words of Torah causes Tiferet to descend and lower itself, to flow to Malchut. And behold, there are four Sefirot below Tiferet and they have three traits:

(2) The first: One who becomes haughty over their students causes Tiferet to be haughty and rise above the sefirah of Netzach and Hod below it, which are 'Those taught of God' - the Students of Tiferet. But one who lowers themselves and teaches it with love, causes Tiferet to lower itself towards its students and teach them according to what they can carry. And in your merit, Tiferet will flow upon 'Those taught of God' in a fitting way.

(3) The second: One who makes themselves haughty with the Torah over the poor person, like Eliyahu who appeared to Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar in the guise of an ugly, disgraced, and disgusting poor person (Taanit 20a), in order to make him stumble. As his head had swelled and he disgraced the poor man, he was rebuked for this flaw. One who is haughty over the poor causes Tiferet to be haughty over Yesod and not to flow into it. But if the mind of the sage pays attention to the poor, then Tiferet will flow onto Yesod. A poor person should be very important to the sage, and should be brought close; and this way Malchut will be cherished by Tiferet and will bind to it.

(4) The third: One who becomes haughty from their Torah over ignorant common folk of the people of YHVH causes Tiferet to become haughty over Malchut and not to flow into it. Rather one's attitude should be pleasant with all creatures and value all the people present to one where one lives - they correspondent to the "secret of the Land" [i.e. the Shechinah]. And has v'shalom, if one calls them donkeys, one lowers them to the kelipot and will not merit to have a child with the light of the Torah in them, as in the Gemara (Nedarim 81a). Rather, one should behave with them gently, according to their way, similar to Tiferet that flows to Malchut and guides Her according to Her poverty - as the 'minds of women are weak" (Shabbat 33b). [This misogynist quote from the Talmud reflects a belief of one of the Talmudic Rabbis that the intellect of women is weak and needs guidance from men. Ramak is using it symbolically here to refer to the fact that the sefirah of Malchut is itself "poor" i.e. it is pure receptivity to influence from above, and is filled by Yesod. Although offensive and opening the issue of the dangers of masculine/feminine imagery when discussing the sefirot, Ramak's point here is not to make a statement about women but to use the verse as a symbolic proof text about esoteric realities. That said, one hopes his own intellect was not in fact so weak as to fail to realize that the intellect of women is not any weaker than that of men!]. And included in this is that one not become haughty over those with cognitive disabilities that are regarded as the 'dust of the earth.' And because of this, the ancient ones would not become haughty from their Torah, like the great sages of the Zohar, for example that elder who fled when they wanted to kiss him, as he did not want to become haughty with words of Torah.

(5) One should also habituate themselves in debate over words of Torah to intend the tikkun of the Shechinah, to repair it and adorn it for Tiferet - this is seeking the truth of halachah. This is a 'disagreement for the sake of Heaven' - which is for Chesed and Gevurah to come to Tiferet, or Heaven - to have the halacha correspond to the divine will. And one should separate from any disagreement that becomes disaligned from this, as Tiferet does not want to get involved in matters external to Torah. If it is just to argue, its end will be Geihinom, has v'shalom. The only disagreement that does not harm Tiferet is for the sake of Heaven - as 'all of its paths are peace' and its purpose is love.

(6) One who benefits [materially or in terms of ambition] from the words of Torah damages this attribute, as it is holy and this one profanes it. But one who delves in Torah for the pleasure of whats above us, happy is their portion!

And most important is to introspect and to examine oneself while debating. If there be found a trace of an improper thought, one should retract; and concede to the truth, so that Tiferet - the attribute of Truth - will be found there.

(א) היאך ירגיל האדם עצמו במדות נצח הוד יסוד: תקוני הנצח וההוד בכללות: וְאוּלָם בְּתִקּוּנֵי הַנֵּצַח וְהַהוֹד, קְצָתָם מְשֻׁתָּפִים לִשְׁנֵיהֶם וּקְצָתָם מְיֻחָדִים כָּל אֶחָד לְעַצְמוֹ.

(ב) וְהִנֵּה רִאשׁוֹנָה צָרִיךְ לְסַיֵּעַ לוֹמְדֵי הַתּוֹרָה וּלְהַחְזִיקָם אִם בְּמָמוֹנוֹ אוֹ בְּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ לְהַזְמִין לָהֶם צָרְכֵי שִׁמּוּשׁ וְהַזְמָנַת מָזוֹן וַהֲפָקַת כָּל רְצוֹנָם שֶׁלֹּא יִתְבַּטְּלוּ מִדִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה וּלְהִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לְגַנּוֹת תַּלְמוּדָם שֶׁלֹּא יִתְרַפּוּ מֵעֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה, אֶלָּא לְכַבְּדָם וּלְהַלֵּל מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם הַטּוֹבִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְחַזְּקוּ בַּעֲבוֹדָה, וּלְהַזְמִין לָהֶם סְפָרִים צֹרֶךְ עִסְקָם וּבֵית מִדְרָשׁ, וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא, שֶׁהוּא חִזּוּק וְסַעַד לְעוֹסְקֵי הַתּוֹרָה. הַכֹּל תָּלוּי בִּשְׁתֵּי מִדּוֹת הַלָּלוּ כָּל אֶחָד כְּפִי כֹחוֹ הַמְעַט הוּא אִם רָב. סוֹף דָּבָר כָּל מַה שֶׁיַּרְבֶּה בָּזֶה לְכַבֵּד הַתּוֹרָה וּלְהַחְזִיק בְּדִבּוּר בְּגוּפוֹ וּבְמָמוֹנוֹ וּלְעוֹרֵר לֵב הַבְּרִיּוֹת אֶל הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁיִּתְחַזְּקוּ בָהּ, הַכֹּל נֶאֱחַז וְנִשְׁרַשׁ בִּשְׁתֵּי סְפִירוֹת אֵלֶּה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם נִקְרָאִים מַחְזִיקִים בָּהּ וְתוֹמְכֶיהָ.

(ג) עוֹד צָרִיךְ הָעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁיִּלְמֹד מִכָּל אָדָם כְּדִכְתִיב (תְּהִלִּים קיט, צט): "מִכָּל מְלַמְּדֵי הִשְׂכַּלְתִּי", כִּי אֵין הַתּוֹרָה מִשְׁתַּלֶּמֶת אֵצֶל רַב אֶחָד, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁהוּא נַעֲשֶׂה תַּלְמִיד לַכֹּל זוֹכֶה לִהְיוֹת מֶרְכָּבָה אֶל נֶצַח וָהוֹד לִמּוּדֵי ה' וְהַמַּשְׁפִּיעַ אֵלָיו תּוֹרָה הוּא בְּמַדְרֵגַת תִּפְאֶרֶת. וַהֲרֵי בִּהְיוֹתוֹ יֹשֵׁב וְלוֹמֵד זוֹכֶה אֶל הַתִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁיַּשְׁפִּיעַ בְּנֶצַח וְהוֹד וְהוּא בְּמַדְרֵגָתָם מַמָּשׁ.

Elul 22 (Friday, Sep 11)

(1) Chapter 8 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Traits of Netsach, Hod And Yesod:

The tikkunim of Netzach and Hod: some are common to both and some unique to each one.

(2) First one should assist those that study Torah and strengthen them whether with money or service to provide what they need, the provision of food and the supply of all that they want in order not to desist form words of Torah. One should be careful not to disdain their study and not to weaken their occupation with Torah, but rather to honour them and to praise their good deeds, in order to strengthen them in their service; and to provide them with books required for their occupation and a study hall, and the like to strengthen and assist those occupied with Torah. It is all dependent on Netzach and Hod, everyone according to ability whether it is little or much. In the end, all that one can increase in this to honour the Torah and to strengthen it - with speech, with body, and with wealth - and to stimulate the hearts of the creatures to the Torah, that they should be strengthened in it; it is all held and rooted in these two Sefirot.

(3) One occupied with the Torah must also learn from every person, as it is written (Psalms 119:99), "From all of my teachers have I been enlightened." As the Torah is not completed with one teacher; but since one becomes a student to all, one merits to become a chariot for Netzach and Hod 'Those taught of Hashem'; and the one who bestows Torah upon them is on the level of Tiferet [i.e. one's teachers engage in divine revelation]. In one's sitting and studying Torah, one merits that Tiferet flow to Netzach and Hod and one is actually on level of these two sefirot oneself.

(א) נצח והוד בפרטות: וְהִנֵּה בִּהְיוֹתוֹ לוֹמֵד מִקְרָא שֶׁהוּא מִן הַיָּמִין יֵשׁ לוֹ יַחַס פְּרָטִי אֶל הַנֵּצַח, וּבִהְיוֹתוֹ לוֹמֵד מִשְׁנָה שֶׁהִיא מִן הַשְּׂמֹאל יֵשׁ לוֹ יַחַס פְּרָטִי אֶל הַהוֹד, וְהַגְּמָרָא הַכְּלוּלָה בַּכֹּל שֶׁמֵּבִיא רְאָיָה לְדִינֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה מִן הַכָּתוּב הֲרֵי זֶה תִּקּוּן לִשְׁנֵיהֶם יָחַד.

(1) Netzach and Hod Individually:

In studying Tanakh which is from the right one has a connection to Netzach; and in studying Mishnah which is from the left, one has a connection to Hod. The Gemara includes everything - such that it brings a proof to the laws of the Mishnah from the verse - and so is a tikkun for both of them.

The tikkun of Yesod has traditionally been associated with the restraint of male sexual desire and its expression in masturbation and nocturnal emissions (i.e. outside of sexual intercourse). Here the Ramak will take up this line, but I have revised the text in translation to imagine what his advice would look like if it was not androcentric. Many of us will still disagree with the Ramak's presentation of the classical Rabbinic view that ejaculatory orgasm should not happen outside of married sexual intercourse, but below I have neverthless tried to re-present that advice in a form which addresses both sexes as much as the text allows.

(א) תקוני היסוד: וְאוּלָם הַאֵיךְ יַרְגִּיל הָאָדָם עַצְמוֹ בְּמִדַּת הַיְסוֹד, צָרִיךְ הָאָדָם לְהִזָּהֵר מְאֹד מֵהַדִּבּוּר הַמֵּבִיא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבֹא לִידֵי קֶרִי, אֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁלֹּא יְדַבֵּר נְבָלָה אֶלָּא אֲפִילוּ דִּבּוּר טָהוֹר הַמֵּבִיא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר רָאוּי לְהִשָּׁמֵר מִמֶּנּוּ, וַהֲכִי דָּיֵק לִישָּׁנָא דִּקְרָא (קֹהֶלֶת ה, ה): "אַל תִּתֵּן אֶת פִּיךָ לַחֲטִיא אֶת בְּשָׂרֶךָ" הִזְהִיר שֶׁלֹּא יִתֵּן פִּיו בְּדִבּוּר שֶׁמֵּבִיא לְהַחֲטִיא בְּשַׂר קֹדֶשׁ אוֹת בְּרִית - בְּקֶרִי. וּכְתִיב "לָמָּה יִקְצֹף הָאֱלֹהִים" וְגוֹ', וְאִם הוּא נִבְלוּת הַפֶּה, מַאי לַחֲטִיא, הֲרֵי הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ חֵטְא, אֶלָּא אֲפִילוּ שֶׁהַדִּבּוּר לֹא יִהְיֶה חֵטְא אֶלָּא דִּבּוּר טָהוֹר, אִם מֵבִיא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר צָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר מִמֶּנּוּ, וְלָזֶה אָמַר "לַחֲטִיא אֶת בְּשָׂרֶךָ לָמָּה יִקְצֹף", יִרְצֶה אַחַר שֶׁמַּחְטִיא יִקְצֹף עַל אוֹתוֹ קוֹל אֲפִילוּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מֻתָּר, כִּי עַל יְדֵי פְּעֻלָּה רָעָה הַנִּמְשֶׁכֶת מִמֶּנּוּ, חָזַר הַקּוֹל וְהַדִּבּוּר רָע. כָּל כָּךְ צָרִיךְ זְהִירוּת לְאוֹת בְּרִית, שֶׁלֹּא לְהַרְהֵר וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית.

(ב) וְעוֹד צָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר שֶׁהַיְּסוֹד הוּא אוֹת בְּרִית הַקֶּשֶׁת, וְהַקֶּשֶׁת אֵינָהּ דְּרוּכָה לְמַעְלָה אֶלָּא לְשַׁלַּח חִצִּים לְמִדַּת הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁהִיא מַטָּרָה לַחֵץ, שׁוֹמֶרֶת הַטִּפָּה הַיּוֹרֶה כְּחֵץ לַעֲשׂוֹת עָנָף וְלָשֵׂאת פֶּרִי, וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁמֵּעוֹלָם לֹא יִדְרֹךְ הַקֶּשֶׁת הָעֶלְיוֹן אֶלָּא לְנֹכַח הַמַּטָּרָה הַנִּזְכֶּרֶת, כָּךְ הָאָדָם לֹא יִדְרֹךְ הַקֶּשֶׁת וְלֹא יַקְשֶׁה עַצְמוֹ בְּשׁוּם צַד, אֶלָּא לְנֹכַח הַמַּטָּרָה הָרְאוּיָה, שֶׁהִיא אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּטָהֳרָתָהּ שֶׁהוּא עֵת הַזִּוּוּג וְלֹא יוֹתֵר מִזֶּה, יִפְגֹּם הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת חַס וְשָׁלוֹם וּמְאֹד מְאֹד צָרִיךְ זְהִירוּת, וְעִקַּר הַשְּׁמִירָה בִּהְיוֹתוֹ שׁוֹמֵר עַצְמוֹ מִן הַהִרְהוּר.

Elul 25 (Monday, Sep 14 )

Tikkunim of Yesod:

How does a person habituate themselves to the trait of Yesod? One must be very careful to avoid speech that brings lustful thoughts, so that one not come to have an orgasmic erotic dream. There is no need to say that one should not speak a vile thing, but it is fitting to guard even from a pure thing that brings one to a lustful thought. And so was the expression of the verse exacting (Ecclesiastes 5:5), "Do not let your mouth make your flesh sin" - it warned that one not allow their mouth speech that brings the holy flesh - the sign of the covenant [the circumcised penis] - to sin, with an accidental emission. And it is written, "why should God be angered, etc." - and if it was merely about vile speech, what is the meaning of "to make sin"; behold, it is a sin itself? Rather, even if the speech is not a sin but only a pure thing - if it brings to lustful thought, one should be careful about it. And that is why it stated, "to make your flesh sin, why should Hashem be angered" - it means, since it brings to sin, Hashem will be angered about that speech, even though it is permitted. As since an evil act ensued from it, the voice and speech became evil. This much carefulness must there be about sexual restraint, to not have lustful thoughts and not be destructive.

(2) And one must also be careful as Yesod is the sign of the covenant of the rainbow [given to Noah]. And the Bow is only drawn Above to send arrows to Malchut; and it guards the drop that shoots like an arrow 'to make a branch and carry a fruit.' And just like the Highest Bow never draws except across from the mentioned target - so should a never draw the bow and not make oneself sexually aroused in any way except for across from the fitting target [of one's spouse]. This is one's partner at appropriate times and not more than this, which would harm this trait, has v'shalom. And one needs much, much carefulness - and the main carefulness is that one guard himself from lustful thoughts.

(א) היאך ירגיל האדם עצמו במדות המלכות: להשפיל את עצמו: רִאשׁוֹנָה לְכֻלָּן שֶׁלֹּא יִתְגָּאֶה לִבּוֹ בְּכָל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ, וְיָשִׂים עַצְמוֹ תָּמִיד כְּעָנִי וְיַעֲמִיד עַצְמוֹ לִפְנֵי קוֹנוֹ כְּדַל שׁוֹאֵל וּמִתְחַנֵּן. וּלְהַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ בְּמִדָּה זוֹ אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה עָשִׁיר יַחְשֹׁב שֶּׁאֵין דָּבֵק עִמּוֹ מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ מְאוּמָה וְהוּא נֶעֱזָב צָרִיךְ לְרַחֲמֵי הַבּוֹרֵא תָמִיד, שֶּׁאֵין לוֹ כָּל דָּבָר אֶלָּא הַלֶּחֶם אֲשֶׁר אֹכֵל, וְיַכְנִיעַ לְבָבוֹ וְיֵעָנִי עַצְמוֹ, וּמַה גַּם בְּעֵת תְּפִלּוֹתָיו שֶׁזּוֹ סְגֻלָּה נִפְלָאָה, וּלְהֵפֶךְ מִזֶּה נֶאֱמַר (דְּבָרִים ח, יד): "וְרָם לְבָבֶךָ וְשָׁכַחְתָּ" שֶׁהַשִּׁכְחָה הַחִצוֹנִית מְצוּיָה שָׁם. וְדָוִד הִתְנַהֵג בְּמִדָּה זוֹ הַרְבֵּה שֶׁאָמַר (תְּהִלִּים כה, טז): "כִּי יָחִיד וְעָנִי אָנִי", שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל אַנְשֵׁי בֵיתוֹ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד צָרִיךְ לְהֵעָזֵר לְעַצְמוֹ, מַה כֻלָּם אֵלָיו אֲפִלּוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָנָיו מַה יֹּעִילוּהוּ בִּהְיוֹתוֹ נִשְׁפָּט לִפְנֵי הַבּוֹרֵא אוֹ בְּעֵת סִלּוּק נִשְׁמָתוֹ, כְּלוּם יְלַוּוּהוּ אֶלָּא עַד קִבְרוֹ. מָה הֵם לוֹ בְּעֵת דִּינָיו מִפֶּתַח הַקֶּבֶר וְאֵילָךְ, לְפִיכָךְ יַשְׁפִּיל וִיתַקֵּן עַצְמוֹ בְּסוֹד הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת.

Elul 26 (Tuesday Sep 15)

(1) Chapter 9 - How A Person Can Habituate Themselves With The Trait Of Malkhut:

To lower oneself so as not to become arrogant at heart one should first of all always make themselves like a poor person in front of the Maker, like a begging vagrant. To accustom oneself to this trait - even if one is rich - one should think that there is not a thing that really belongs to one; and really one is forsaken and always needs the mercy of the Creator, since one has nothing besides the bread that one eats. And one should subdue one's heart and afflict himself. And even more so at the time of prayer, as it is a wonderful technique. The opposite of this is stated (Deuteronomy 8:14), "And your heart will rise and you will forget" - forgetful absorption in things is found there. David prayed with this trait a lot, as he stated (Psalms 25:16), "for I am alone and poor." As behold, each and every one of the people of his household needs to take responsibility for their own welfare - what are they to help each other here? And even one's spouse and children, what will they help when one is judged in front of the Creator or at the time that the soul is withdrawn from the body? Will they accompany one any further than the grave? What are they at the time of judgments from the opening of the grave and beyond? Hence one should lower and refine himself with the secret of this trait [non-attachment and non-possession].

(א) לצאת לגלות: עוֹד שְׁנִיָּה פֵּרְשׁוּ בְּסֵפֶר הַזֹּהַר (וַיַּקְהֵל, קצ"ח:) וְהִיא חֲשׁוּבָה מְאֹד, יִגְלֶה מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, וּבָזֶה יֵעָשֶׂה מֶרְכָּבָה אֶל הַשְּׁכִינָה הַגּוֹלָה. וִידַמֶּה עַצְמוֹ הֲרֵי אֲנִי גָלִיתִי וַהֲרֵי כְּלֵי תַשְׁמִישַׁי עִמִּי, מַה יַעֲשֶׂה כְּבוֹד גָּבוֹהַּ שֶׁגָּלְתָה שְׁכִינָה וְכֵלֶיהָ אֵינָם עִמָּהּ, שֶׁחָסְרוּ בְּסִבַּת הַגָּלוּת. וְלָזֶה יְמַעֵט בְּכֵלָיו בְּכָל יְכָלְתּוֹ כְּדִכְתִיב (יִרְמִיָה מו, יט): "כְּלֵי גוֹלָה עֲשִׂי לָךְ" וְיַכְנִיעַ לְבָבוֹ בַּגּוֹלָה וְיִתְקַשֵּׁר בַּתּוֹרָה, וְאָז שְׁכִינָה עִמּוֹ, וַיַּעֲשֶׂה לְעַצְמוֹ גֵּרוּשִׁין וְיִתְגָּרֵשׁ מִבֵּית מְנֻחָתוֹ תָּמִיד כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָיוּ מִתְגָּרְשִׁים רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן וַחֲבֵרָיו וְעוֹסְקִים בַּתּוֹרָה. וּמַה גַּם אִם יְכַתֵּת רַגְלָיו מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם בְּלִי סוּס וָרֶכֶב, עָלָיו נֶאֱמַר (תְּהִלִּים קמו, ה): "שִׂבְרוֹ עַל ה' אֱלֹהָיו", וּפֵרְשׁוּ בוֹ (שָׁם עַמּוּד א') לְשׁוֹן שֶׁבֶר שֶׁהוּא מְשַׁבֵּר גּוּפוֹ לִכְבוֹד גָּבוֹהַּ.

To Go Into Exile:

There is a second method that they explained in the Zohar (Vayekhel, 198b) and it is very important - that one should exile themselves from place to place for the sake of Heaven. Through this one will become a chariot for the exiled Shechinah. One should compare themselves, "Behold I am in exile and behold I have all of the possessions that I need with me; what does the honor of the Higher Realm do, as the Shechina was exiled, but Her possessions are not with Her as they were removed on account of the exile?" And so one should minimize his possessions as much as possible, as it is written (Jeremiah 46:19), "Possessions of an exile make for yourself." And one should subdue the heart in the exile and connect to Torah; and then the Shechinah will be with one. And one should drive oneself on and always leave behind each house of his rest, in the way that Rabbi Shimon and his colleagues would expel themselves and occupy themselves with Torah. And all the more so if one can pound his feet from place to place without a horse and wagon. About this is it stated (Psalms 146:5), "their hope (sivro) is to the Hashem, their God" - and they explained (Zohar, Vayekhel, 198a) about it, that it is an expression of breaking (shever) - such that one breaks their body for the honour of the Higher Realm.

(א) ליראה את השם: עוֹד מִמִּדַּת הַמַּלְכוּת מִדָּה חֲשׁוּבָה מְאֹד, שַׁעַר הָעֲבוֹדָה כֻלָּהּ, וְהִיא לְיִרְאָה אֶת ה' הַנִּכְבָּד וְהַנּוֹרָא. וְהִנֵּה הַיִּרְאָה מְסֻכֶּנֶת מְאֹד לִפָּגֵם וּלְהִכָּנֵס בָּהּ הַחִצוֹנִים שֶׁהֲרֵי אִם הוּא יָרֵא מִן הַיִּסּוּרִים אוֹ מִן הַמִּיתָה אוֹ מִגֵּיהִנֹּם, הֲרֵי זוֹ יִרְאַת הַחִצוֹנִים, שֶׁכָּל פְּעֻלּוֹת אֵלּוּ מִן הַחִצוֹנִים, אָמְנָם הַיִּרְאָה הָעִקָּרִית לְיִרְאָה אֶת ה'. וְהוּא שֶׁיַּחְשֹׁב בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים:

(ב) הָאֶחָד - לִהְיוֹת גְּדֻלָּתוֹ שֶׁל יוֹצֵר הַכֹּל עַל כָּל נִמְצָא

(ג) וַהֲרֵי הָאָדָם יָרֵא מִן הָאֲרִי, מִן הַדֹּב, מִן הָאַנָּס, מִן הָאֵשׁ, מִן ה מַפֹּלֶת, וְאֵלּוּ הֵם שְׁלוּחִים קְטַנִּים, וְלָמֶה לֹא יִירָא מִן הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל וְיִהְיֶה פַּחֲדוֹ עַל פָּנָיו מִגְּדֻלָּתוֹ, וְיֹאמַר הֵיאַךְ יֶחֱטָא הָאָדָם הַנִּבְזֶה לְאָדוֹן רַב כָּזֶה וַהֲרֵי אִלּוּ הָיָה דֹּב יֹאכְלֵהוּ, וְאִלּוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא סוֹבֵל עֶלְבּוֹן, מִפְּנֵי זֶה לֹא יִירָא מִפַּחֲדוֹ וּגְדֻלָּתוֹ.

(ד) הַשֵּׁנִי - כַּאֲשֶׁר יְדַמֶּה הַשְׁגָּחָתוֹ תָּמִיד שֶׁהוּא צוֹפֶה וּמַבִּיט בּוֹ

(ה) וַהֲרֵי הָעֶבֶד יָרֵא מֵרַבּוֹ תָמִיד בִּהְיוֹתוֹ לְפָנָיו, וְהָאָדָם תָּמִיד לִפְנֵי הַבּוֹרֵא וְעֵינוֹ פְקוּחָה עַל כָּל דְּרָכָיו, יִירָא וְיִפְחַד הֵיאַךְ יִרְאֶנוּ מְבַטֵּל מִצְוֹתָיו.

(ו) הַשְּׁלִישִׁי - הֱיוֹתוֹ שֹׁרֶשׁ כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת

(ז) וְכֻלָּן מֻשְׁרָשׁוֹת בִּסְפִירוֹתָיו, וְהַחוֹטֵא פּוֹגֵם הֵיכָלוֹ, וְלָמָּה לֹא יִירָא הֵיאַךְ יִהְיֶה הֵיכַל הַמֶּלֶךְ מְלֻכְלָךְ מִמַּעֲשָׂיו הָרָעִים.

(ח) הָרְבִיעִי - יִרְאֶה שֶׁפְּגַם מַעֲשָׂיו הֵם דּוֹחִים שְׁכִינָה מִלְמַעְלָה

(ט) וְיִירָא הֵיאַךְ יִגְרֹם הָרָעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת לְהַפְרִיד חֵשֶׁק הַמֶּלֶךְ מִן הַמַּלְכָּה, וְהַיִּרְאָה שֶׁהִיא כַיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה הִיא יִרְאָה הַמְיַשֶּׁרֶת הָאָדָם אֶל תִּקּוּן הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת וְהוּא דָּבֵק בָּהּ.

(1) Yirat Hashem:

There is another very important trait from the trait of malchut which is the gateway to all avodah, and that is to revere Hashem who is glorious and awe inspiring. Yirah [fear, awe, revenerence] is very much in danger of being harmed and adulterated by things external to its true nature. If one fears from afflictions, from death or even from Gehinom know that this is not true Yirah, since all of these are external to it. The essential yirah is to fear God alone - and that is that one think about three things:

(2) The first: That the greatness of the Creator of all is over all that exists.

(3) A person fears from a lion, from a bear, from a violent person, from fire, from a falling building and yet they are minor emissaries- why would one not fear from the great King, with reverential face before such greatness? And one should say, "How can a contemptible person do wrong to such a great Master? Is it that if Hashem were a bear one might be eaten, whereas the Holy One of Being tolerates the insult, so that one does not revere Hashem's awe and greatness?"

(4) The second: When one envisions Hashem's constant supervision and how Hashem watches and observes everything.

(5) A servant always fears a present master. Yet a person is always in front of the Creator, whose eye is open upon everything one does! One should have reverence and fear when one considers how Hashem can see one belittle the mitzvot.

(6) The third: Hashem is the root of all souls (7) and they are all rooted in the Sefirot. And so the wrongdoer harms Hashem's sanctuary. And why does he not fear how the sanctuary of the King is soiled by one's bad deeds?

(8) The fourth: flawed deeds repel the Shechinah above (9) and one should fear causing this great evil, to break off the King's love from the Queen. These kinds of yirah set one on the path to making a tikkun of this attribute and binding oneself to it.

Ramak returns to sacred sexualiy below one more time. In this instance I've changed the language to be gender free and replaced references to the feminine "Shechinah" with the more neutral translation of the Divine Presence. Rabbinic tradition was quite critical of those who did not marry and have children, and the discussion below takes a negative view of the spiritual capacities of single people at the polar opposite of those spiritual traditions which value celibates above the romantically active. Maybe, to paraphrase Rumi, there's a beautiful field beyond such distinctions where we all can meet.

(א) לעשות שהשכינה תדבק בו על ידי ההתנהגות עם אשתו: עוֹד זְהִירוּת הַרְבֵּה צָרִיךְ לִקַּח הָאָדָם לְעַצְמוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת שֶׁתִּהְיֶה שְׁכִינָה דְּבֵקָה עִמּוֹ וְלֹא תִפָּרֵד מִמֶּנּוּ, וְהִנֵּה הָאָדָם בְּעוֹד שֶׁלֹּא נָשָׂא אִשָּׁה פְּשִׁיטָא שֶּׁאֵין עִמּוֹ שְׁכִינָה כְּלָל כִּי עִקַּר שְׁכִינָה לָאָדָם מִצַּד הַנְּקֵבָה, וְהָאָדָם עוֹמֵד בֵּין שְׁתֵּי הַנְּקֵבוֹת, נְקֵבָה תַּחְתּוֹנָה גַּשְׁמִית שֶׁהִיא נוֹטֶלֶת מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁאֵר כְּסוּת וְעוֹנָה, וְהַשְּׁכִינָה הָעוֹמֶדֶת עָלָיו לְבָרְכוֹ בְּכֻלָּם שֶׁיִּתֵּן וְיַחְזֹר וְיִתֵּן לְאֵשֶׁת בְּרִיתוֹ כְּעִנְיַן הַתִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד בֵּין שְׁתֵּי הַנְּקֵבוֹת, אִימָּא עִילָּאָה לְהַשְׁפִּיעַ לוֹ כָּל הַצֹּרֶךְ, וְאִימָּא תַּתָּאָה לְקַבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁאֵר כְּסוּת וְעוֹנָה, חֶסֶד דִּין רַחֲמִים כַּנּוֹדָע.וְלֹא תָבֹא אֵלָיו שְׁכִינָה אִם לֹא יְדֻמֶּה אֶל מְצִיאוּת הָעֶלְיוֹן.

(ב) וְהִנֵּה לִפְעָמִים הָאָדָם פּוֹרֵשׁ מֵאִשְׁתּוֹ לְאַחַת מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה סִבּוֹת:

(ג) הָא' - לִהְיוֹתָהּ נִדָּה.

(ד) הַב' - שֶׁהוּא עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה וּבוֹדֵל מִמֶּנָּהּ כָּל יְמֵי הַחֹל.

(ה) הַג' - שֶׁהוּא הוֹלֵךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְשׁוֹמֵר עַצְמוֹ מִן הַחֵטְא.

(ו) וּבִזְמַנִּים אֵלּוּ הַשְּׁכִינָה דְּבֵקָה וּקְשׁוּרָה עִמּוֹ וְאֵינָהּ מַנַּחַת אוֹתוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה נֶעֱזָב וְנִפְרָד, אֶלָּא לְעוֹלָם אָדָם שָׁלֵם זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, וַהֲרֵי שְׁכִינָה מִזְדַּוֶּגֶת לוֹ, צָרִיךְ אָדָם לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא תִפָּרֵד שְׁכִינָה מִמֶּנּוּ בִּהְיוֹתוֹ יוֹצֵא לַדֶּרֶךְ, וְיִהְיֶה זָרִיז וְנִשְׂכַּר לְהִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת הַדֶּרֶךְ וְלֶאֱחֹז בַּתּוֹרָה, שֶׁבְּסִבָּה זוֹ שְׁכִינָה שֶׁהִיא שְׁמִירַת הַדֶּרֶךְ, עוֹמֶדֶת לוֹ תָמִיד בִּהְיוֹתוֹ זָהִיר מִן הַחֵטְא וְעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכֵן בִּהְיוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ נִדָּה שְׁכִינָה עוֹמֶדֶת לוֹ כְּשֶׁשּׁוֹמֵר הַנִּדָּה כָּרָאוּי. אַחַר כָּךְ בְּלֵיל טָהֳרָתָהּ אוֹ בְּלֵיל שַׁבָּת אוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ, כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן זְמַן בְּעִילַת מִצְוָה הוּא. וּשְׁכִינָה תָּמִיד נִפְתַּחַת לְמַעְלָה לְקַבֵּל נְשָׁמוֹת קְדוֹשׁוֹת, גַּם אִשְׁתּוֹ רָאוּי לִפְקֹד אֹתָהּ וּבָזֶה שְׁכִינָה תָמִיד עִמּוֹ, כֵּן פֵּרֵשׁ בַּזֹּהַר בְּפָרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית (דַּף מ"ט.). הַפְּקִידָה לְאִשְׁתּוֹ צָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה דַּוְקָא בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַשְּׁכִינָה בִּמְקוֹמָהּ, דְּהַיְנוּ כְּשֶׁהִיא בֵּין שְׁתֵּי זְרוֹעוֹת. אָמְנָם בִּזְמַן צָרַת הַצִּבּוּר שֶּׁאֵין הַשְּׁכִינָה בֵּין שְׁתֵּי זְרוֹעוֹת, אָסוּר. וְכֵן פֵּרְשׁוּ בַּתִּקּוּנִים פָּרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית (תִּקּוּן ס"ט).

Elul 27 (Wednesday, Sep 16)

(1) To Make It So That The Shechina Clings To One By Means Of His Conduct With One's Spouse:

There is also much care that a person must take to make it that the Divine Presence be clinging to them and not separate from them. And behold, it is obvious that when a person has not yet married, the Divine Presence is not with them at all; as the essence of the Divine Presence for a person is from their partner. And a person stands between two manifestations of the divine presence - the lower one, whose needs one serves; and the Divine Presence that stands above one, to bless one with the resources to do so, that one be able to give and give again to one’s covenanted partner. This is like the matter of Yesod that stands between Binah from where it flows all that is needed; and Malchut,which receives Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet as is known. And the Divine Presence will not come to one if one does not resemble the Highest Reality.

(2) Behold, sometimes a person separates from their partner for one of three reasons:

(3) family purity [the law against sex during menstruation];

(4) being occupied with Torah;

(5) in his going on the way and guarding himself from sin.

(6) And at these times, the Divine Presence is clinging and bound to one and does not leave, so that one not be abandoned and separated. Rather one is always complete as though one had a partner due to the Divine Presence. And behold since the Divine Presence is coupled with one when one goes out on the way, a person must be careful that It not separate from one. And one should be enthusiastic to pray the Tefilat Haderech [Travellers Prayer] and to hold on to Torah. As from this reason, the Divine Presence - which is the protection of the way - always stands by one in that one is being careful not to do wrong and occupied with Torah.

And so too, during Niddah, the Divine Presence rests upon one when one observes it properly.

Afterwards on the night of purity [when one again has intercourse] on Shabbat night or on one’s coming back from the way - these are times of sacred intercourse. And the Divine Presence above opens to accept holy souls; so sex is fitting. And with this, the Divine Presence is always with one. So is it explained in the Zohar in Parshat Bereishit (p. 49a), sex must be specifically at the time that the Divine Presence is between the two Forearms [Chesed and Gevurah, as discussed above, at such times the divine couple is embracing]. However at a time that the Divine Presence is not between the two Forearms, it is forbidden. And so is it explained in the Tikkunim, Parshat Bereishit (Tikkun 69).

(א) לתקן המדות כלם ולקבל על מצות: הָרוֹצֶה לְהִזְדַּוֵּג עִם בַּת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְשֶׁלֹּא תִפָּרֵד מִמֶּנּוּ לְעוֹלָם צָרִיךְ תְּחִלָּה שֶׁיְּקַשֵׁט עַצְמוֹ בְּכָל מִינֵי קִשּׁוּטִים וּמַלְבּוּשִׁים נָאִים וְהֵם תִּקּוּנֵי הַמִּדּוֹת הַנִּזְכָּרוֹת כֻּלָּם. וְאַחַר שֶׁתִּקֵּן עַצְמוֹ בְּתִקּוּנֶיהָ יְכַוֵּן לְקַבְּלָהּ עָלָיו בִּהְיוֹתוֹ עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה וְנוֹשֵׂא עֹל מִצְוֹת בְּסוֹד כַּוָּנַת הַיִּחוּד תָּמִיד, וּמִיַּד הִיא נִשֵּׂאת לוֹ וְאֵינָהּ פּוֹרֶשֶׁת מִמֶּנּוּ. וְזֶה בִּתְנַאי שֶׁיְּטַהֵר וִיקַדֵּשׁ עַצְמוֹ, וְאַחַר שֶׁהוּא טָהוֹר וְקָדוֹשׁ יְכַוֵּן לְקַיֵּם לָהּ שְׁאֵר כְּסוּת וְעוֹנָה שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים שֶׁחַיָּב הָאָדָם לְאִשְׁתּוֹ:

(ב) הָאַחַת - לְהַשְׁפִּיעַ לָהּ בְכָל מַעֲשָׂיו שֶׁפַע מִן הַיָּמִין - מְזוֹנָהּ .

(ג) הַשְּׁנִיָּה - לְכַסּוֹת עָלֶיהָ מִצַּד הַגְּבוּרָה. שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁלְטוּ בָהּ הַחִצוֹנִים שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה צַד יֵצֶר הָרַע בְּעֵסֶק מִצְוֹתָיו, כְּגוֹן לַהֲנָאַת הַגּוּף וּלְתִקְוַת הַכָּבוֹד הַמְּדֻמֶּה וְכַיּוֹצֵא, שֶׁיֵּצֶר הָרַע מָצוּי בְּאוֹתָהּ מִצְוָה וְהִיא בּוֹרַחַת מִמֶּנּוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָ"ה, אִם כֵּן צָרִיךְ לְכַסּוֹת הָעֶרְוָה וּלְהַסְתִּירָהּ תָּמִיד שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁלֹט בָּהּ. כֵּיצַד, כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם בְּלִי חֵלֶק לְיֵצֶר הָרָע. וְכֵן תְּפִלִּין וְצִיצִית הֵם מְגִנִּים גְּדוֹלִים בַּעֲדָהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁלְטוּ הַחִצוֹנִים בָּהּ, וְיִהְיֶה רָגִיל בָּהֶם.

(ד) הַשְּׁלִישִׁי - לְיַחֲדָהּ עִם הַתִּפְאֶרֶת בְּעוֹנַת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע, בִּקְבִיעוּת עִתִּים לַתּוֹרָה, וּכְשֶׁיִּקְבַּע עוֹנָה לְכָל דָּבָר, יְכַוֵּן שֶׁזֶּהוּ עוֹנַת הַשְּׁכִינָה בַּת מֶלֶךְ, וְיֵשׁ רֶמֶז לָזֶה בַּתִּקּוּנִים:

(1) Tikkun Middot And Accepting The Yoke Of The Mitzvot

One who wants to be coupled with the "Daughter/Son of the King" [the Divine Presence] and never be separated from it, must first put on all types of adornments and pleasant garments, and they are the tikkunim of all the traits mentioned. And after one has made these tikkunim, one should intend to receive the Divine Presence upon oneself - in ones being occupied with Torah and always carrying the yoke of the mitzvot in the secret of intention for unification [sod kavvanat yichud]. Then immediately the Divine Presence marries one and does not separate on the condition of one's purification and sanctification. After one is pure and holy, one should have in mind to fulfill one's marital obligations:

(2) The first: To give shefa from the right [the side of kindness] with all of one's actions - this is food.

(3) The second: To cover from the side of Gevurah such that evil forces not rule the Divine Presence, such that there not be an aspect of the yetzer hara in one's involvement with the mitzvot - such as material pleasures, or hoping for illusory honor, and such. As the yetzer hara is then found in that mitzvah; and it flees from it, because it is lewdness. If so, one must cover the lewdness, to always hide it that it should not rule the Divine Presence. How is that? All of one's deeds should be for the sake of Heaven, without any portion for the yetzer hara. And so too tefillin and tsitsit are great protections, such that the external forces not rule. And one should be accustomed to wearing them.

(4) The third: To unify Malchut with Tiferet at the time of the Recital of Shema and in the setting of time for Torah. And when one sets a time for anything, one should have in mind that this is the set time of the Divine Presence, the Daughter/Son of the King, as is eluded to in the Zohar.

(א) להתחבר עם הספירות לפי הזמן: פֵּרֵשׁ רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בְּפָרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית (דַּף יא.) עֵצָה רַבָּה וּגְדוֹלָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה הֵיאַךְ יִתְקַשֵּׁר הָאָדָם בִּקְדֻשָּׁה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה וְיִתְנַהֵג בָּהּ, וְלֹא יִפָּרֵד מִן הַסְּפִירוֹת הָעֶלְיוֹנוֹת תָּדִיר, וְצָרִיךְ הָאָדָם בָּזֶה לְהִתְנַהֵג כְּפִי הַזְּמַן, רוֹצֶה לוֹמַר לָדַעַת אֵיזוֹ סְפִירָה שׁוֹלֶטֶת וּלְהִתְקַשֵּׁר בָּהּ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הַתִּקּוּן הַמִּתְיַחֵס אֶל הַמִּדָּה הַשּׁוֹלֶטֶת.

Elul 28 (Thursday, Sep 17)

(1) Chapter 10 - To Connect With The Sefirot According To The Time:

Rabbi Shimon explained in the Zohar [Parshat Bereishit p. 11a] a great and important piece of Torah advice about how a person is to connect to the Higher Holiness and conduct oneself according to it and never separate from the Higher Sefirot. A person must act according to the time, that is, to know what Sefirah is ruling at that time, bind to it and do the tikkun that relates to its trait.

(א) בלילה יתקשר עם המלכות: וְהִתְחִיל מֵהַלַּיְלָה עֵת שְׁכִיבַת הָאָדָם עַל מִטָּתוֹ, וַהֲרֵי הַשְּׁלִיטָה הִיא לַיְלָה מִדַּת הַמַּלְכוּת, וְהוּא הוֹלֵךְ לִישֹׁן, הַשֵּׁנָה הִיא כְּעֵין מִיתָה וְאִילָנָא דְמוֹתָא שָׁלְטָא, מַה יַעֲשֶׂה, יְתַקֵּן וְיַקְדִּים לְהִתְקַשֵּׁר בְּסוֹד הַקְּדֻשָּׁה דְּהַיְנוּ סוֹד מִדַּת הַמַּלְכוּת בִּבְחִינַת קְדֻשָּׁתָהּ, וְלָזֶה יֵלֵךְ עַל מִטָּתוֹ וִיקַבֵּל עֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם שְׁלֵמָה בכונת הַלֵּב. קָם בַּחֲצוֹת לַיְלָה יִטּוֹל יָדָיו מֵהַקְּלִפָּה הַשּׁוֹלֶטֶת עֲלֵיהֶם וְיַעֲבִיר רָעָה מִבְּשָׂרוֹ וִיבָרֵךְ, וִיתַקֵּן הַשְּׁכִינָה בְּעֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה, וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר עָלֶיהָ (מִשְׁלֵי ו, כב): "בְּשָׁכְבְּךָ תִּשְׁמֹר עָלֶיךָ" מִן הַחִצוֹנִים "וַהֲקִיצוֹתָ הִיא תְשִׂיחֶךָ" . וְתִתְקַשֵּׁר עִמּוֹ וְהוּא עִמָּהּ, וְיִתְעַלֶּה דְּיוֹקַן נִשְׁמָתוֹ בְגַן עֵדֶן עִם הַשְּׁכִינָה הַנִּכְנֶסֶת שָׁם עִם הַצַּדִּיקִים, וְהַתִּפְאֶרֶת יָבֹא שָׁם גַּם הוּא לְהִשְׁתַּעֲשֵׁעַ עִם הַצַּדִּיקִים וְעִמּוֹ בְּחֶבְרָתָם, שֶׁכֻּלָּם מַקְשִׁיבִים לְקוֹלוֹ. הֲרֵי מַמָּשׁ נָסַע עִמָּהּ מֵהַמִּיתָה וְהַשֵּׁנָה אֶל סוֹד הַחַיִּים הָעֶלְיוֹנִים וְנִקְשָׁר בְּסוֹד גַּן עֵדֶן וְהִתְחִיל לְהִתְנוֹצֵץ עָלָיו אוֹר הַתִּפְאֶרֶת הַמִּתְנוֹצֵץ בְּגַן עֵדֶן עַל הַצַּדִּיקִים, וְכֵן פֵּרֵשׁ בְּפָרָשַׁת תְּרוּמָה (דַּף קל:).

(1) At night one should connect with Malchut: And one begins from the night, at the time that a person lays down on his bed. And behold the rulership is to Night, the trait of Malchut. And one goes to sleep - and sleep is similar to death, and the tree of death rules.

What shall one do? One should repair and connect to the secret of holiness, which is the secret of the trait of malchut, from the aspect of its holiness. And so one should go on one's bed and accept the full yoke of the malchut shamayim [the rule of heaven] with concentration of the heart. One gets up at midnight, washes ones' hands from the kelipah that is governing them [the ruach rah that settles on one's hands while one's neshamah is absent in sleep], thus removing the evil from one's body and recites a blessing. And one should repair the Shechinah through occupation with Torah. And about this is it stated (Proverbs 6:22), "When you lie down it will watch over you," from the evil forces; "and when you awake, it will talk with you." And She and that one will be connected. And the likeness of one's soul will rise in the Garden of Eden with the Shechinah that is entering there with the tzaddikim. And Tiferet will also come there to play with the tzaddikim, and one will be in their company - as they will all be listening to one's voice reciting Torah. Behold, one has actually traveled with the Shechinah from death and sleep to the secret of the Garden of Eden and began to cause the light of Tiferet [revelation], that sparkles in the Garden of Eden upon the tzaddikim, to sparkle upon him. And so is it explained in [the Zohar,] Parshat Terumah (p. 130b).

(א) בשחר יתקשר עם מדות שלשת האבות הכלולים בתפארת: הִשְׁכִּים וְעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר, הִתְחִיל הוּא גַּם כֵּן לָבֹא לִכָּנֵס לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, וְקָשַׁר עַצְמוֹ בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת. בְּפֶתַח בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת אוֹמֵר "וַאֲנִי בְּרֹב חַסְדְּךָ אָבוֹא" (תהלים ה, ח) וְכוּ', וְכוֹלֵל עַצְמוֹ בְּסוֹד הַתִּפְאֶרֶת אָדָם כָּלוּל חֶסֶד גְּבוּרָה תִּפְאֶרֶת, וְנִכְנָס לִכְנֶסֶת מַלְכוּת.

(ב) וּמְכַוֵּן בַּפָּסוּק בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת:

(ג) "בְּרֹב חַסְדְּךָ" - דָּא אַבְרָהָם,

(ד) "אֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֶל הֵיכַל קָדְשְׁךָ" - דָּא יִצְחָק, דְּמִסִּטְרֵיהּ הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה לִכְפֹּף קוֹמָתוֹ נֶגֶד מִדַּת הַדִּין לִהְיוֹת נִדְחֶה מִפָּנֶיהָ, וְאָז הַשָּׁעָה נִדְחֵית מִפָּנָיו כִּי יֻמְשַׁךְ שֶׁפַע הָרַחֲמִים מִלְמַעְלָה עָלֶיהָ לְמַתְּקָהּ.

(ה) "בְּיִרְאָתֶךָ" - דָּא יַעֲקֹב, דִּכְתִיב בֵּיהּ (בְּרֵאשִׁית כח, יז).

(ו) וַהֲרֵי כָּלַל עַצְמוֹ בָהֶם בְּמַחְשָׁבָה דִּבּוּר וּמַעֲשֶׂה, כִּי מַחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁזָּכַרְנוּ הִיא הַכַּוָּנָה, הַדִּבּוּר הוּא הַפָּסוּק, וְהַמַּעֲשֶׂה הַבִּיאָה לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת וְהִשְׁתַחֲוָיָתוֹ נֶגֶד הֵיכָלוֹ.

Elul 29 (Friday Sep 18)

(1) In the morning, one should connect oneself to the traits of the three ancestors that are included in Tiferet: When the dawn rises, one also begins to come to the synagogue and bind oneself to the three ancestors. At the opening of the synagogue, he says, "But I, through Your abundant kindness, enter, etc." (Psalms 5:8). And one includes oneself in the secret beauty of the human [tiferet Adam] that includes Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet and one enters the assembly of Malchut.

(2) And one has intention in the verse for the three ancestors:

(3) "Through Your abundant kindness" - that is Avraham.

(4) "I bow down at Your holy chamber" - that is Yitzhak, as bowing down, to bend one's body to the trait of gevurah to be pushed aside by it, is from his side. And a flow of compassion is pulled towards one from above to sweeten it.

(5) "In Your awe" - that is Yaakov, as about him is it written (Genesis 28:17), "how awesome is this place."

(6) And behold, one has included oneself in them in thought, speech and deed: As the thought that we mentioned is the intention; the speech is the verse; and the deed is the entering into the synagogue and bowing down across from the palace [the ark of the Torah].

(א) המדות שמתקשר בהם במשך היום: קֹדֶם תְּפִילָה עוֹמֵד בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, פִּיו מְקוֹר נוֹבֵעַ תְּפִילָה וְיִחוּד יְסוֹד , מְקוֹר הַבְּאֵר נִפְתָּח בַּבְּאֵר שֶׁהוּא בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת, וּמְתַקֵּן שְׁכִינָה בְּכָל יְכֹלֶת כַּוָּנָתוֹ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ. יוֹצֵא מִשָּׁם, עוֹלֶה בְּסוֹד הַתּוֹרָה, וּמִתְקַשֵּׁר בָּהּ בְּסוֹד מִדַּת יוֹם, וּמִתְנַהֵג עִמָּהּ כָּל הַיוֹם עַד שְׁעַת הַמִּנְחָה, שֶׁמִּתְקַשֵּׁר בַּגְּבוּרָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּבֹּקֶר נִקְשָׁר בַּחֶסֶד בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ, וּבַיּוֹם בַּתִּפְאֶרֶת בְּעֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה, וּבָעֶרֶב בַּגְבוּרָה . וְכָל זֶה בְּמִדַּת יוֹם שֶׁהוּא בָּא לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת לְיַחֵד בְּסוֹד הַגְּבוּרָה, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעָשָׂה בְּצַד הַחֶסֶד.

(ב) וּבֵין זֶה לָזֶה קוֹשֵׁר הַשְּׁכִינָה עִמּוֹ בִּסְעוּדָתוֹ, שֶׁגּוֹמֵל חֶסֶד עִם הָעֲנִיָּה הַזֹּאת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אוֹמֵר הִלֵּל הַזָּקֵן (וַיִּקְרָא רַבָּה לד, ג) "יוֹדֵעַ צַדִּיק נֶפֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּוֹ" (מִשְׁלֵי יב, י), וְזוֹ תִהְיֶה כַּוָּנָתוֹ בִּסְעוּדָתוֹ לִגְמֹל חֶסֶד לְנֶפֶשׁ בְּהֵמָה וּלְקָשְׁרָה בְסוֹד הַמָּזוֹן.

(ג) וְאַחַר שֶׁעָלָה לִשְׁעַת הַמִּנְחָה וְנִקְשָׁר בַּגְּבוּרָה, הִמְתִּין לָעֶרֶב וְיָרַד הַתִּפְאֶרֶת אֶל הַמַּלְכוּת, וַהֲרֵי הוּא עִמָּהּ בִּתְחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה קוֹשֵׁר עַצְמוֹ בָהּ וְנִכְנַס לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת עִם הַכַּוָּנָה הַנִּזְכֶּרֶת לְמַעְלָה, וְקוֹשֵׁר עַצְמוֹ לְמַטָּה - תִּפְאֶרֶת בָּא לְבֵית מְלוֹנוֹ.

(ד) יָצָא מִבֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת יְיַחֵד עַצְמוֹ מַמָּשׁ בַּמַּלְכוּת לְבַד, בְּסוֹד קַבָּלַת עֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם, וְזֶהוּ תְּקוּפָתוֹ בַיּוֹם עִם תְּקוּפַת הַסְּפִירָה, וּלְעוֹלָם דָּבֵק בָּאוֹר הַשּׁוֹלֵט.

(ה) עֵצָה זוֹ עִקָּרָהּ בְּפָרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית, וְהַשְּׁאָר מְקֻבָּץ מִמְּקוֹמוֹת רַבִּים מֵהַזֹּהַר. וְהִיא עֵצָה כּוֹלֶלֶת לְהִתְקַשֵּׁר הָאָדָם תָּמִיד בַּקְּדֻשָּׁה וְלֹא יֶחְסַר עִטּוּר הַשְּׁכִינָה מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ:

(ו) תָּם וְנִשְׁלַם שֶׁבַח לְאֵל יוֹדֵעַ כָּל נֶעְלָם, הַיוֹם יוֹם ד' י"ב יָמִים לְמַרְחֶשְׁוָן, שְׁנַת "יֶעֱרַב עָלָיו שִׂיחִי אָנֹכִי אֶשְׂמַח בַּה':

(1) The Traits To Which One Connects During The Course Of The Day:

Before prayer one stands in the synagogue, one's mouth a flowing source of prayer and the unification of Yesod, the Source of the well opens up in to the well, which is the synagogue (Malchut) - and one does a tikkun for the Shechinah with all the power of the kavvanah of one's prayer. One leaves from there and rises to the secret of Torah, and connects to it in the secret of the measure of day; and one is involved with it all of the day until the time of the afternoon prayer, when one connects to Gevurah. As behold, in the morning, one was connected to Chesed in one's prayer, and in the day to Yesod in occupation in Torah; and so in the evening with Gevurah. And all of this is in the measure of the day - that one comes to the synagogue to unify with the secret of Gevurah, in the way that one did from the side of Chesed.

(2) And between this and that, one binds to the Shechinah in one's meal, such that one gives kindness on the poor one - as Hillel the Elder (Vayikra Rabbah 34:3) would say, "A righteous one should know the soul of his animal" (Proverbs 12:10). And this should be the intention in eating, to bestow kindness to the animal soul and to connect it with secret nourishment.

(3) And after one arrived to the time of the afternoon prayer and connected with Gevurah, one waits to the evening and Tiferet goes down to Malchut. And behold, one is with Tiferet at the beginning of the night, connects oneself with it and enters the synagogue with the intention mentioned above and one connects oneself Below - so Yesod comes to the House of Its lodging [Malchut].

(4) One exits the synagogue and unifies oneself truly with Malchut alone, through the secret of accepting the yoke of malchut shamayim. And this is strength during the day, with the strength of the Sefirah. And one should always cling to the Light that is ruling.

(5) This essence of this counsel is in the Zohar [Parshat Bereishit] and the rest is is gathered from many places in the Zohar. It is a comprehensive counsel, to always connect a person to holiness; and the crown of the Shechinah will thereby never leave one's head.

(6) It is whole and complete - baruch Hashem, who knows all the hidden - today the fourth day of the week, the twelfth day of the month of MarCheshvan, in the year [numerically encoded in the verse], "May my speech be pleasing to Hashem; I will rejoice in YHVH" (Psalms 104:34).