Zohar 2:136a


Souls ascend and souls descend to crown the holy people; on Sabbath eve there is a rotation of souls, some come and others go, some ascend and others descend…

So it goes until the [angelic] announcer rises and proclaims- “Sanctified! Sanctified!” Then rest is found and contentment for all. The wicked in Gehinnom are appeased in their places and they have repose. All the souls are crowned, the ones above and the ones below. Happy are the people who may partake of this!…

At midnight of Sabbath eve the wise are aroused to have their intercourse (mit’arin le shimusha dilhon) [in] the upper spirit in which they were crowned when the day was sanctified. When they are asleep on their beds and their other souls want to ascend to see the glory of the King, then that upper spirit that descended at [the inception of] Sabbath eve takes that soul and elevates it above. That other soul is cleansed by the aromatic fluids of the Garden of Eden, and there it sees what it sees. When it descends to rest in its place at midnight, that soul returns to its place. Those who are wise should say one verse for the arousal of that upper holy soul, the crown of Sabbath, e.g., “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me as a herald of joy to the humble etc.” (Isa. 61-1), “When those moved, these moved; and when those stood still, these stood still; and when these were borne above the earth etc.” (Ezek. 1-22), “Wherever the spirit impelled them to go, they went etc.” (ibid., 20), for they are crowned by that spirit in virtue of their arousal in the joy of intercourse, and the emanation of that upper spirit of Sabbath is in that devotional act of intercourse.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in “Forms of Visionary Ascent and Ecstatic Experience,” in Gershom Scholem’s Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism 50 Years After 209-235. Edited by J. Dan and P. Schafer, Tubingen- J. C. B. Mohr, 1993.

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