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Sha‘ar Ma’amerei Rashbi, 18b-c

Jewish Mysticism
The third meal is the secret of the elevation of Ze‘eir ’Anpin entirely within the supernal ’Abba’ and ‘Imma’, the last three [sefirot] within him in the last three in them, and the three patriarchs in him in the three patriarchs in them, and three forms of consciouness (mohot) in him in the three forms of consciousness in them. This is called the “property without boundaries” (nahalah beli mesarim) [B. Berakhot 51a; Shabbat 118a], for the shell has no dominion there since he is entirely contained in the supernal ’Abba’ and ‘Imma’, and nothing of him remains below like the first order of emanation. When he ascends and he will be contained entirely in ’Abba’ and ‘Imma’, he is near the supernal forehead in the secret of the first three [entities] in ‘Atiqa’, and this is the time of favor (‘et rason). This ascent is not attained by the bride but only by the bridegroom. Therefore it is called the meal of Ze‘eir ’Anpin. We pray that the bride, too, will return to this level, and this is [the meaning of] “As for me, may my prayer come to You, O Lord, at a favorable moment” (Ps. 69-14). It is known already that she is called “prayer” and “moment,” and the secret of “As for me” (wa’ani) is to join ’ani [the feminine] and the waw [the masculine]. Therefore, during the afternoon service (minhah) of Sabbath we read from the Torah scroll, to conjoin her with her husband, which is the Written Torah. … Since Ze‘eir ’Anpin is contained entirely within ’Abba’ and ‘Imma’, the judgments in Ze‘eir ’Anpin are nullified, even though it is their [appropriate] time because the supernal forehead gazes upon him as he ascends there close to him. All the worlds are quiet and in peace for the supernal forehead sits upon the throne of the rivers of fire, to subdue them. … Thus we do not say qiddush at all for she is very hidden. There is the place of eating but not drinking. … During the time of the third meal the judgments are not discerned at all and everything is complete mercy. Therefore, Moses departed at this time, and not during the morning, to indicate that he ascended in the secret of simple mercy. Indeed, Moses, Joseph, and David had to depart on Sabbath for the sake of the three [forces] remaining in Malkhut, to elevate them above together with her husband.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in, “Coronation of the Sabbath Bride- Kabbalistic Myth and the Ritual of Androgynisation,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 6 (1997)- 301-344.

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