Zohar 2:46a


At midnight the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden to take delight with the righteous. At that time one must rise to study Torah. Thus it is said that the Holy One, blessed be He, and all the righteous in the Garden of Eden listen to their voice, as it is written, “O you who finger in the garden, lovers are listening; let me hear your voice” (Cant. 8-13). The one who lingers in the garden, i.e., the Community of Israel, for she praises him before the Holy One, blessed be He, by virtue of the praise of Torah at night. Happy is the lot of one who joins her to praise the Holy One, blessed be He, by means of the praise of Torah. When morning comes the Community of Israel comes and takes delight with the Holy One, blessed be He, and he extends to her the scepter of mercy [i.e., the sefirah of Yesod which corresponds to the phallus]. She does not enter alone but together with those who join her. Thus is it written, “By day may the lord vouchsafe His faithful care, so that at night [a song to Him may be with me, a prayer to the God of my life]” (Ps. 42-9).

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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