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16 To Hell and Back

Most Hebrew-English texts translate the word Ire – רע (ra) as evil. Nevertheless, the word also means neighbor and associates more with the destructive forces of justice as in the ‘evil’ that comes out of the North to punish Israel, than with wickedness. In actuality, Ire has more to do with anger and frustration of circumstance than the western society understanding of ‘evil’.

Alternatively, Evil – עול (avel) is a verb meaning ‘to do injustice.’ Avel – עול is a masculine noun for ‘injustice, wrong.’ Aval עול is the masculine noun for ‘wrongdoer.’ Judaism does not have a concept of evil as a counterpart to good. Instead, evil is more the result of the absence of G-d.

åòã îòè åàéï øùò åäúáåððú òì î÷åîå åàéððå
And in a little while the wicked shall not be; you shall reflect upon his place and he will not be there.
(Psalm 37:10)

Evil cannot exist indefinitely as its separation from G-d removes itself from the world.

וענוים יירשו-ארץ והתעננו על-רב שלום
And the humble will inherit the land and they will delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
(Psalm 37:11)

On the other hand, the humble in spirit attach to G-d and their reward is the inheritance of the land. Rabbi Nachman teaches another meaning to Psalm 37:10.[1653] He understands the word wicked here to refer to the sinner. He teaches that we must look for the good in every person even a wicked person. When we find this spark of good, we must judge him favorably and he will return to G-d. This is the meaning of, “In a little while he is not”—when we judge him favorably, the sinner is gone and in his place is a baal tshuvah, a master of repentance.[1654]

Meditation 16-1: Judgment in the Court of Gevurah
I woke up in a dream, which emphasized the importance of keeping vows. Monday is associated with Gevurah as is Av.[1655]

I prepared myself in Malchuts. There I saw the angels Gavriel and Michael descend to my sides. They lifted me to Yesod, the righteous foundation of the Living G-d, Almighty. Yesod relates to Yetzirah, the home world of angels. I turned to my left, looked at the face of Gavriel, and said, “I will go with you.” With a swift push, I was climbing the channel into Hod with Gavriel behind me, pursuing like a tiger.[1656] In the world of Hod stood Aaron, the Golden Calf, Gavriel, and myself. The 12th of Tamuz was the day of our sin with the Golden Calf – Egel Zahav. I raised my arms and said to the Lord, we repent, I repent; let it be no more and in a burst of light, the idol was turned to molten spreading like a liquid enveloping the light of the Sun. This connection is to teach us that we must be careful not to worship the Sun. Gavriel came over and held me with concern. I said everything is OK, you don’t have to worry. SHe raised my face, and I stared at the tears in her eyes as she shook her head from side-to-side. I tried to comfort her and I confessed that it was all for the good. I had learned the message of vows from a dream. The pattern repeated and then I said let us ascend to the realm of judgment. Immediately we ascended and emerged in the Court of Gevurah. The robes of Gavriel changed from white to red with dark shades of gold, and her countenance was without mercy and her purpose was firm. She drew a line and than a cross. Around the cross (fire), sHe connected a diamond and placed it under me in the center.

Figure 16-1: Diamonds of Gevurah

I was frozen and fixed as the pattern ascended through me.[1657] Finally a cover was placed on the top sealing me into the diamond. It was very tight and choking. She sat on the Throne of Judgment and watched unmoved by sufferings and I glimpsed the pain of Gehenom. I confessed to the Lord that it is better to be judged by the Almighty then to be without Him, Has Vshalom. Nevertheless, the pain did not subside and I became scared. This was a fatal position to contemplate and I searched for a way out. The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy then came to mind.[1658] To escape death, I said them aloud and the walls of the diamond fell to my side.


I was free and I chose quickly to ascend from Gevurah to Binah. I beheld the Angel in White from behind once more.[1659] She held her left arm up to Hashem, which held a rod and her right arm down to this world channeling energy. She turned around, gave me her rod and my arms assumed the same position and she left. I stood alone feeling the vibrations of the energy coursing through the rod, but they nourished me not. I stood for a while and then contemplated a shift to Hochmah consciousness. I turned the rod to the right and moved into Hochmah. There was a well in the shape of a diamond with water within. I realized the danger of falling in and turned away. I began to forgive and prayed for anyone that harmed me or I had harmed. I saw a flame between Hochmah and Binah.[1660] There were eyes within. This was a seraph and I moved into the flame. They became my eyes and the flames were a purgatory for my soul purifying it with my prayers. I turned my head to the left and the sunlight burned my face as the flames burned my soul. Everything is going to be OK. Finally, I saw a vision of an immense hill of sand with a slide. I jumped and landed down upon each dune until I reached the bottom and my eyes opened upon the new day.

Everything is going to be all right Gabriel.
We will repent and return.
You do not need to cry for us anymore.
The stern decree has been turned aside.
Those we’ve harmed, we’ve prayed for.
Those that have harmed us, we’ve forgiven.
Through Judgment we have learned Love.
And through mercy we have found Hope.

Afterthought – July 20, 1993, 7:30 PM. The obstacles in a vision are formed out of klipot on the body and in the mind. Their danger and size magnify the closer one gets to Hashem.

The Jewish idea of hell is the absence of G-d. People create their own hells by their activities and worries in life. Ultimately G-d is ready to receive any person back.[1661]

Meditation 16-2: To Hell and Back

Fires of Gehenom – A large angel, shaped as a standing turtle,[1662] invited me to enter the gates of hell.[1663] He was waving to follow him. As he turned to lead, I noticed small wings of fire on his back. His body was luminescent without definite features other than body, arms, legs, and wings. I crossed under a gate and looked up to see it ringed with fire, ~ ten yards in height. Gehenom is not scary in itself. The flames exist only from the souls that are there.[1664] The frightening part is encountering the burning souls. They wander aimlessly occasionally springing up on others by surprise. They are evil and the source of the fire that consumes them. The rest of this world is empty.[1665] The angel kept asking that I follow and we went further inward. Eventually we arrived at a gate and the angel would go no further. Through the gate, I saw a raging furnace of fire that appeared solid unlike the spotted flames of souls before. I thought to myself (incorrectly) “Now I am approaching the worst of Gehenom.” I entered alone as the angel could not lead me here. Crossing the threshold was a test of strength. The angel waived bye and I walked onward into the furnace.

Nahar DiNar (River of Fire) – I saw souls floating in a river of fire by waving their arms wildly as if caught in a fast current. I walked further and was greeted by a handsome woman swimming towards me. She had long black hair and dark eyes. She wanted to lead and she showed me how to swim after her. I followed her up the river, which entered the mouth of a cave. The fire river was a brilliant gold that lit up the walls and we swam onward. As we reached the end, which is actually the beginning of the river, she climbed out onto a bank. I burned in the headwaters and then climbed onto the opposite bank. I asked her about this place. She did not respond with words, but grabbed and placed me in the source of the fiery waters. My body regressed to that of an infant and she lifted me out again and put me on the bank. I was scared of my mind regressing with my body, but this did not happen. My yetzer hara burned away from me, and I now possessed the innocence of a child. I felt lonely and wanted to be held, and she lifted me to her and I played with the tresses of her hair. Later I learned her name, Sara Imanu – Sarah our mother, and she helps souls through the river and prepares them for the Gate of Judgment. I beheld a ladder leading upwards and began to climb through the solid rock. I reached a clearing.

Gate of Judgment – I beheld a line of people (souls) waiting to pass through the gate one-by-one. Most were despondent with their heads down. I proceeded to the head of the line, as one living is free from the rules of this place. As an infant, I crossed over the threshold and entered the chamber of judgment. (The upper world was the color of a steely gray-silver unlike the gold of the river below.) I waited in the chamber until an old tall man entered. He was surprised to see me and looked discerningly at me. He said, “You are not really an infant, my son”, and he lifted me up, and my form returned to that of an adult. He asked me, what I wanted here. I told him that I wanted to pass through the gate and into the place beyond. He told me I could not do this. He always followed his statements with the trailer, my son. I deduced he was Avraham Avinu – Abraham our father, who could lift a soul out of Gehenom for the mitzvah of the brit milah alone.[1666] I claimed that I needed to go beyond to bring back knowledge to teach.[1667] He responded that all we need to know is in the Torah and I could not pass.

For this commandment which I command thee this day,
it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say:
‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’
(Deuteronomy 30:11-12)[1668]

In fact, I was shoved out of this place forcibly. I descended back to the River of Fire. Sarah returned me to an infant, placed me in a carriage that lifted me up the ladder into heaven. I beheld chariots of light descending on my left with many forms.

The River of Fire flows from the Ancient One as we see from Daniel:[1669]

Text 16-1: Daniel on the Ancient of days from the River of Fire unto the son of man
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit,
whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool:
his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him:
thousand thousands ministered unto him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:
the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake:
I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away:
yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven,
and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

16.1 Turning Evil to Good

The four elements that compose a man lead him to sin in the following ways. Fire is the source of arrogance. Air is the source of idleness and idle chatter. Water is the source of evil passions. Earth is the source of melancholy.[1670]

Text 16-2: The Tzaddik's Descent to Help Another
Likutey Moharan #8:5
Now, by sighing, a person draws the ruach-of-life to the lack for which he sighs. This makes it whole. Nevertheless, one should not attempt to provoke the wicked. When a person provokes the wicked man who then sighs, the wicked man draws ruach from his rav of the husks. In its moment, his ruach is mighty. “He blows down all his enemies,” and is capable of harming them, G-d forbid.
Therefore, not everyone can antagonize the wicked. Only a perfect tzaddik can do this. A perfect tzaddik is someone who is on the level of “No sin will befall the tzaddik.”[1671] In other words, he has already expelled and eliminated whatever bad he may have had within him. He is certain that he will in no way be brought to sin.
This matter [of eliminating the bad] is as follows: There are four fundamental elements [of creation]: fire, air, water, earth. Above, in their transcendent root, they correspond to the four letters of G-d’s holy name, YHVH.[1672] But, below [in our world], they are a mixture of good and bad. The perfect tzaddik, however, has completely distinguished and separated the bad from the good. He is without even a residue of bad from any one of these four elements. [These elements] encompass all the traits, as is known. So that when he is on this level, he [the tzaddik] can provoke the wicked.[1673]
For every wicked man has to have a conduit through which he receives his ruach in order to provide wholeness [in place] of the lack. The conduit and pathway through which he receives the ruach-of-life needed to fill this lack is the particular bad trait from the four elements which he has drawn [upon himself] and empowered [himself with].

When the tzaddik wants to humble the wicked man, he must descend into the bad trait
with which the wicked man has empowered himself.
This is how he can subdue and destroy the conduit from which the wicked man
receives his life-force.

This is why the tzaddik must be perfect, without any bad whatsoever. Otherwise the wicked man’s storm wind, which is also his ruach-of-life, can G-d forbid, overpower and harm the tzaddik when he descends into the bad trait in order to destroy it. The bad has no hold on or control over the perfect tzaddik. He hasn’t any place to which the bad can attach itself.
{Even the bad quality into which the tzaddik descends in order to bring about its destruction has no hold on him. His entry there is solely for the purpose of humbling and subduing it; as in “And Avraham ascended from Egypt.”}[1674]

The “descent into the bad trait” means that the tzaddik reflects the bad trait of the other person. In this manner, the wicked person sees a mirror of his own behavior from this holy person. This reflection creates an affinity that will help the person realize his own wickedness. He will sense that perhaps the tzaddik was right after all in earlier arguments. As an example, consider a person on the verge of apikorsus considering all faith an illusion. After numerous arguments that have no effect on the person, the tzaddik descends into the bad trait and concedes, “all is illusion” to the other person. The effect is quite contrary. The other person feels a weight released off his chest and his obstinacy dissipates. Nevertheless, the elation of the tzaddik agreeing with his point leads to remorse. “Perhaps this great man’s view is better. Perhaps it leads to a truer happiness. Perhaps I shall try faith and see for myself.”

16.2 The Evil Eye

One who brags or shows off rouses the Evil Eye. Joseph and his descendants struggled with the consequence of this evil:

And the sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying why have you given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, because the Lord has blessed me so much? And Joshua answered them, if you are a great people, then go to the forest country, and cut down a space for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Refaim, if Mount Ephraim is too narrow for you. (Joshua 17:14-15)

Bava Batra 118a (end) explains:

The children of Joseph, surely, complained and did not benefit, and [yet] Scripture recorded their case. There, [it may be replied, Scripture desired] to impart to us good advice, [namely,] that a person should he on his guard against an evil eye. And this indeed is [the purpose] of what Joshua said unto them; as it is written, And Joshua said unto them: ‘If thou be a great people, get thee up to the forest’. [It is this that] he said to them: ‘Go and hide yourselves in the forests so that an evil eye may have no power over you’.

The children of Joseph countered:

They said unto him, ‘We are of the seed of Joseph over whom the evil eye has no power’. As it is written, Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain, and R. Abbahu said: Do not render, ‘by the fountain,’ but ‘those who transcend the eye’. R. Jose son of R. Hanina said, [this is inferred] from the following [verse]: And let them grow like fishes into a multitude in the midst of the earth (Genesis 48:16). [This means that] as the fishes in the sea are covered by the waters and no eye has any power over them, so, in the case of the seed of Joseph, no [evil] eye has [any] power over them.

Joseph and his descendents are under the influence of the sign of Pisces[1675] based on this passage where Jacob is blessing Joseph and his sons:

:{rah brqb brl wgdyw qjxyw \hrba ytba ymc \hb arqyw \yrunh-ta ]rby ur-lkm yta lag ]almh
The Angel that has redeemed me from all bad will bless these lads
and call in them the name of their fathers Abraham and
Isaac and will make them plentiful like fish
in closeness to the land.
(Genesis 48:16)

Rashi comments on fish here: “Like fish that are fruitful and multiply and there is not an evil eye that has power in them.” Here we learn that the effect of the evil eye is to limit reproduction, has vshalom. We also learn that the evil eye manifests within them. It is cast from outside but effects the target within. Now if this is the case why did Joshua say to their descendents to flee to the forest? For the descendents were proud of their numbers asking for a larger inheritance. Braging brought the evil eye upon Joseph from his brothers originally. Joseph’s descendents have the same vulnerability. Abraham knew this well and would teach his great-grandson this in another incarnation.[1676]

Text 16-3: Rav Kook on the Evil Eye

Rabbi Yochanan, the third century scholar, had an unusual custom. He used to take a seat outside the town mikve (ritual bath). This way, he explained, the Jewish women will see me as they leave the bath and will have children as beautiful as me. The sages asked Rabbi Yochanan: Aren't you afraid of the Evil Eye?

"'I am a descendant of Joseph,' he replied, 'and the Evil Eye had no power over him.'" [Berachot 20]

Apart from the issue of Rabbi Yochanan's beauty, this story raises some interesting questions. What is the Evil Eye? Is it more than just a primitive superstition? And why was Joseph, more than any other Biblical figure, immune from it?

The Talmud explains that Joseph merited protection from the Evil Eye since "his eye did not wish to benefit from that which did not belong to him". Despite Mrs. Potiphar's attempts to seduce him, Joseph remained faithful to God and his employer. Truly an act of great spiritual fortitude - but what does this have to do with the Evil Eye?

Rav Kook explained that the Evil Eye is an example of how one soul may affect another through unseen connections between them. We are all influenced by our environment. Living among those who are refined and righteous will have a strong positive effect, while living among the crass and corrupt will have a negative one. The Evil Eye is the venomous impact from malignant feelings of jealousy and envy surrounding us.

A person who has strengthened his inner resolve and does not allow himself to be misled from the correct path, despite pressures from others - he has built a 'firewall' protecting his soul from external influences. The Biblical hero who most prominently symbolizes this strength of character and refusal to be led astray is Joseph. Seventeen years old, hormones flowing, estranged from the protective framework of his own family and culture, a slave propositioned by a powerful, attractive woman - Joseph beat all the odds and remained faithful to his ideals. Joseph determined that he would not be swayed by his surroundings, no matter how persuasive. Through his heroic stance, he merited that the Evil Eye would have no power over him and his descendants.[1677]

Text 16-4: Fish
Realizing that his death was not far off, Jacob gave his grandchildren, the sons of Joseph, the following blessing:

"May (God) bless the lads, and let them carry my name, along with the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac. May they increase like fish in the land." [Gen. 48:16]

Yes, fish have astonishingly large families. But so do frogs and many other animals. Why were Joseph's children blessed to be like fish?

Furthermore, the phrase "increase like fish in the land" sounds like a very mixed-up metaphor. Fish do not thrive on land; they certainly do not increase there! What kind of blessing is this?

Immunity from the Evil Eye

The Talmud [Berachot 55b] explains that Joseph shared a special common quality with fish:

"The fish in the waters are concealed by the water, and thus not susceptible to the Evil Eye. So too, the descendants of Joseph are not susceptible to the Evil Eye."

What does it mean that Joseph was immune to the Evil Eye like the fish?

We explained previously that the Evil Eye is an example of hidden influences that exist between souls. An environment of jealousy and hatred can poison not only the atmosphere, but also the soul against whom they are directed. This, however, is only true for weaker souls that are easily influenced. The Evil Eye can only harm those whose sense of self-worth is not fully developed, people who need to live their lives in a way that meets the approval of foreign 'eyes.' But if we are secure within ourselves, and our life is focused on our inner truths, then we will not be susceptible to the Evil Eye of those around us. The Evil Eye has no power over those whose robust sense of self-esteem does not let others dictate what is truly important and worthwhile.

Why are fish immune to the Evil Eye?

Fish are not concerned with envious eyes above the water. They live in their own world below the surface, a secluded realm that determines the direction of their lives. Like the fish, Joseph remained faithful to his inner convictions, despite the external pressures and influences of his roller-coaster life. A foreign land, a foreign culture, family estrangement, slavery and imprisonment, temptations - none of these succeeded in leading Joseph astray. Even when he needed to contend with the hardest test of all - the incredible success, wealth, and power of Egyptian viceroy - Joseph was steadfast in his beliefs and inner convictions. Joseph remained true to his own inner world, despite his active participation in a vastly different outer world.

Just like a "fish in the land." [1678]

Text 16-5: Rabbi Chanan Morrison
Thanks. I'm happy to see Rav Kook's thought disseminated. The effort
to update links to my new site address is great - it reminds me what
the rabbis taught about trying to undo the damage of Lashon Hara.

With wishes for a Purim with true simcha for all of Am Yisrael,

BTW - I wrote a second article about Ayin Hara - same basic idea, but
it ties into fish - see

On 16/03/2008, Jeff Spiegel wrote:
> Dear Rabbi Chanan,
> Thanks, I will update it in my next release.  I found your material very
> well written like your quote below.  There seems to be a connection with
> Joseph and the month of Adar as well, more specifically Adar II as the
> temptress could not effect Joseph haTzaddik.
> "Rav Kook explained that the Evil Eye is an example of how one soul may
> affect another through unseen connections between them. We are all
> influenced by our environment. Living among those who are refined and
> righteous will have a strong positive effect upon us, while living among the
> crass and corrupt will have a negative one. The Evil Eye is the venomous
> impact from malignant feelings of jealousy and envy of those around us.
> A person who has hardened his inner resolve and does not allow himself to be
> misled from the correct path, despite pressures from others - he has built a
> 'firewall' protecting his soul from external influences. The Biblical hero
> who most prominently symbolizes this strength of character and refusal to be
> led astray is Joseph. Seventeen years old, young and handsome, estranged
> from the protective framework of his own family and culture, a slave
> propositioned by a powerful and attractive woman - Joseph beat all the odds
> and remained faithful to his ideals. Joseph determined that he would not be
> swayed by his surroundings, no matter how persuasive. Through his heroic
> actions, he merited that the Evil Eye would have no power over him and his
> descendants. "
>   Last, I will create fish (Dagim) to show that just as the evil eye has no
> effect on fish in the water, who are hidden from sight, so too Israel rises
> above this mundane world and neither star nor hour has absolute
> determination over it.'
> "The second Adar has no sign associated with it, and therefore, according to
> Rabbi Ephrayim (quoted by the Chidah) witchcraft has no power over one born
> during this month.  According to the Bnei Yisaschar (Discourse 1 on Adar),
> who quotes an ancient oral tradition, Haman's decree for the destruction of
> the Jews was set for the second Adar.  Haman, according to the Ari, was the
> incarnation of the primal serpent and was a magician (in Hebrew the word for
> serpent Nachash is related to the word for malevolent magician, menaches),
> as characteristic of the Amalekite nation in general, G-d nullified his
> intention of destruction by causing the lot to be cast for the second Adar
> which is not associated with an astrological sign and is therefore
> impervious to malevolent magical influence."[1]
>  ________________________________
> [1] Above the Zodiac, M. Glazerson, p.132
> Warm regards,
> Jeff Spiegel

Is the following a Torah principle?[1679]

אין הברכה חל אלא על דבר הסמוי מן העין

“A true blessing only starts upon something that is hidden from the eye and private”,
in spirit law until an action is done,
other peoples negative thoughts can cancel out your thoughts and plans.
Keep Your Intentions Secret[1680]

One also should avoid gaining profit by Torah learning. The Torah should be given freely:[1681]

In accordance with spiritual law that it is forbidden to benefit financially from any spiritual knowledge, many printers especially the famous Amsterdam Press 300 years ago and the Vilna Press 150 years ago were reluctant to print these spiritual teachings in fear of benefiting financially from the spiritual knowledge.

This reluctance to print spiritual books also applied to the Sefer Tikunim, ספר תיקונים - the book of Corrections and to "רזיאל המלאך Raziel Hamalach" and to Sefer Chidushim - ספר חידושים . Even though "רזיאל המלאך Raziel Hamalach" was in fact printed in large quantities in Amsterdam, this was done so by the kindness of a benefactor who had the books printed and distributed for free.

Nonetheless many people hand-wrote the teachings of Sefer Shinuyim, ספר שנויים - the "Book of Changes" as they were taught from their "Rebbe" spiritual teacher and it was only 100 years ago when references were made to the spiritual concepts of changes "SHINUYIM" in Sefardic countries such as Morocco where the famous Baba Sali - Reb Yisroel Abu Chatzeira was born and in Persia (iran/iraq) where the Ben Ish Chai was the spiritual leader.

Thankfully in our generation we have the internet and therefore we felt obliged to translate and make the wonderfully spiritually inspiring knowledge available. Especially with our guarantee that we are NOT benefiting financially from the true spiritual knowledge of Sefer Shinuyim, ספר שנויים - the "Book of Changes".

The last two paragraphs are presented caveat emptor as some question has come to light on the authenticity of their source. Perhaps like the Zohar, the test of time will tell.

16.3 Evil Thoughts

As Rabbi Nachmah teaches:[1682]

It is important to realize that it is utterly impossible to think two thoughts at once. You can therefore easily chase evil thoughts away without any real effort. Just stop thinking about the subject, and concentrate on something else, whether it be Torah, worship, or even business. The evil thought will automatically vanish, since it is impossible to think two thoughts at the same time. (Likutey Moharan 232)

16.4 Sin

There are three types of sin. The word, hata’ah – חטא, connotes missing the mark, an error. That is to say, the good action leads to a positive result, while the sinful action leads to no result. The term, avon – עון, denotes something distorted and twisted, evil. Lastly, peshah – פשע is from the verb rebel. In summary,

Text 16-6: Three categories of sin
Hata’ah - Error – חטא
Avon - Evil – עון
Peshah - Rebellion – פשע

Avon – iniquity changes ones appearance, but it can be lifted or passed over a person, by spiritual bathing in a mikvah, meditative purification, tzedakah and spiritual prayer. Hata’ah – errors are non-intentional violations, but they can be overcome by Torah learning for keeping the mitzvoth. Peshah – rebellions are the most difficult to overcome requiring tzedakah, tshuvah, v’tephilah, charity, return, and prayer to be forgiven. Humility and a contrite heart can bring one to repentance, but rebellion also includes others who may have a significant role. Hillul Hashem – desecration of the Name by religious leaders seeking only donations may neglect their flock.

16.5 Dark Angels

Meditation 16-3: Dark Angel
I asked him to take me to Duma, that I wish to meet this dark angel.
After we reached the heart of darkness and silence,
I beheld a few fires around and I knew where I was.
The angel turned and faced me and said that he is Duma.
I spoke to him and asked him about himself.
He told me that he is a servant of G-d Most High.
That he tends the souls that are brought here for purification from their sin.
I asked him about the fallen angels.
He said they are like him serving G-d in this realm or manifestations of the sins of man.
Each only serves as an emanation of sin.

Psalm 115:17 mentions Duma:

לא-המתים יהללו-יה ולא כל-ירדי דומה
The dead will not praise You, and not any who descend to silence - דומיה

But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Hallelujah!

The psalmist says we will praise the Lord while we yet live, so that we will not descend into silence where faith can no longer offer praise to G-d in His effervescent truth.

One may dream the Zohar if one studies it late out night. Lay the text across ones bed and move to its words until one feels drowsy. Start a hypnotic audio recording and explore the text:[1683]

Meditation 16-4: The Beauty of Darkness and Duma
I was studying the Zohar text dealing with how careful one must be when guarding the words from ones mouth, “Suffer not thy mouth to bring thy flesh into guilt (Eccl. 5:5).”[1684] The text discusses how the Angel of Destruction, who rules over Gehenom came to G-d to acquire the soul of David for his sins...

I decided that I would seek this angel out—I would converse and walk with him. I saw in my mind a dark angel leading me to the Gates of Gehenom, with a ring of fire circling its boundary[1685] and all around complete darkness. He wore a heavy shell and there was only silence as we walked through the gates and began our long descent.

Down, down we went into the blackness. There was no light but I sensed his presence. I asked him to take me to Duma, that I wish to meet this dark angel. After we reached the heart of the darkness and silence, I beheld a few fires around and I knew where I was. The angel turned and faced me and said that he is Duma. I spoke to him and asked him about himself. He told me that he is a servant of G-d Most High. That he tends the souls that are brought here for purification from their sin.

I asked him about the fallen angels. He said they are like him serving G-d in this realm or manifestations of the sins of man. Each only serves as an emanation of sin. I asked him about David and why he could not claim his soul. He said it is as my Lord in Heaven says, that he is innocent and David confessed; only that he sinned before G-d, and G-d has forgiven him. I said what of Nathan the prophet and his words. He waved his arm to discard them saying, it as my Lord in Heaven says.

I asked him to extend his arm and I gripped his forearm with my hand and calmed him. I said it is good to speak to you Duma even in this place. If only I could show you the stars to bring you some of the light of heaven here. He looked up and said you may ask of G-d. He said, “You are a star. You are the star that stood in Yetzirah where the angels placed you on the top of a mountain. You can ask.”

I beseeched the Lord and he opened the blackness to the pinpoint lights and Duma’s face lit up as well. The Lord told me to hold on to him, and not to let him go under any circumstance, until all of this is done. Duma kneeled down before me and thanked me ever so much for this great gift. I said it is not my doing but only from G-d in Heaven. I said rise up, do not kneel before me. I raised him up and pulled him close and looked deeply into his eyes. I said you are good, Duma, you are a good angel though you serve the Creator in this way.

I asked him what he saw. He spoke of the Milky Way and the stars of the Serpent or the Dragon. He said they are so beautiful and he has not beheld them before. I knew he wanted to see more. He told me that he wanted to take me and show me his realm. We walked in this beautiful dark underworld under the glowing stars. I saw little fires burning everywhere like campfires in the woods, but they were not. As I held Duma’s hand he brought me towards a place with a ravine. There I beheld one of the most beautiful sites I had ever seen. This was the River Lethe, the River of Death. I could see the different shades of blackness and the white glow of star light off of the completely still waters of a meandering river.

Overlooking the river was one of the “campfires” and we approached the person in its midst. I asked him who he is? He spoke, “my name is Yochanan ben Croniel.” His fires diminished to the bottom half of his body as he spoke. I asked him, “what have you done to deserve this place.” He said, “I tried to be good when I lived, but I fell into sin. Nevertheless, I put a good exterior upon myself that others thought I was a good person though I was not. I did not ask for help with my problems and I could not improve my life beyond my sin, because I would not ask. For my beauty on the outside, I am permitted to look over the beauty of this river, while the fires of Gehenom burn my inward sins.”

I looked up to G-d in Heaven and said, would it be OK if his sins were forgiven. The Lord said to me what you say, will be so, in this place. I said to Yochanan ben Croniel, “Your sins are forgiven.” The fires at his waist shrunk, and then were gone into the ground and Yochanan danced a mighty dance of freedom below the stars. The Lord said all is not repaired and that Yochanan must be reborn to show deeds of improvement. I told this and Yochanan was filled with joy to be able to have another chance at life.

I asked Duma, “What is the way to the surface world that Yochanan must go.” He pointed to the river with his free hand and said that one must follow the river up to the light at its source and from there one may enter the living world. Yochanan began to walk immediately in that direction. I said let’s follow. Duma said, he would not be able to go into the land of the living. I said, “Hold on to my hand and we will see.”

We caught up, and I took Yochanan’s hand as well, and together the three of us walked up the River Lethe to the light at its entrance into the under world. Duma was still afraid to leave Gehenom, but now, because he worried that there will not be someone to guard the place while he is gone. I asked G-d and he said it would be OK if I hold onto his hand for the entire journey. We walked through the entrance and into the land of the living and I held firmly my grip to Duma’s hand. Duma saw the fish in the living head waters of Lethe in the land of the living. He was amazed by the beauty of plant life in the water fed by sunlight.

Yochanan wanted to walk free and I let me go. He said he must search for the person who will bring him into this world. He said this time he will be good. “This time I will be good. I will be good.” We watched him as he sped off. I told Duma, now I will show you of my world. I showed him the plants and grasses and other living things. He preferred to look at the blue sky. He wanted to fly. I looked up to the Lord in Heaven and asked would it be OK. G-d said, “As you wish so shall it be.” We rose and I noticed that Duma had wings to fly with and I held his hand as we ascended. He said that he wanted to Dance with the Angels to see their place before G-d.

I saw his shell fall away then. Underneath emerged beautiful white silken robes and a human like face with long glorious hair of a golden hue hanging down. The higher we went the more of the shell fell away until I was flying with a heavenly angel. In the dark blue sky we saw the dancing angels in the distance, but a powerful guardian stopped us before we could join.

He asked, “Who are you?” I told him who I was. Duma also told him truthfully his name. The guard said that this was not the place for dark angels. I continued to hold Duma’s hand. Duma said, “I wish to dance with the angels too before my Creator.” So the guard let us pass, and we flew together with the angels. All around was blue darkness and white lights like clouds with sunshine piercing through. It was a joyous dance, and Duma was so thankful to be here.

He looked at me and our eyes joined and he was happy. He said that to have danced once in this place and to have seen these sites will give him an eternity of memories to dwell on. G-d told me that Duma must return to the underworld. I told him this and he said he was ready now. As we descended swiftly like fallen angels, I noticed Duma’s countenance darken. As we got closer to the ground, Duma began to grow his shell once more and then we were walking together.

He said he could go alone from here and I could remain in the land above, but I said that I would walk him home. Together we walked hand in hand along the river in the Garden of Eden to the place where it pours into the realm of Gehenom. We walked down the river and finally turned off and headed into the pure darkness and silence of the heart of the realm. Again the dark beauty of the place enraptured me and I still held Duma’s hand. Finally he said he was home and I released his hand and he thanked me so much for the journey. I said, it was good to be with him.

I said I will help raise up the other dark angels we saw along our journey when I leave. I asked which way is out. He said there are two choices. There is the entrance of Lethe or the Gates of Gehenom. I chose to walk towards the gates and followed my instinct until I reached them. There I walked through and into a gloom of daylight. I beheld the dark angels near the entrance and said come with me and I will raise you up.

I entered a lucid dream. I was on a stage in a large auditorium. All around were fallen souls who have come to watch the games. On stage were the finalists playing sports.[1686] As I raised my arms over my head and began to clap the audience erupted in an outburst of joy.

I was standing before the audience and singing a song of thankfulness to the Creator:

How wonderous is everything in the Universe,
How great G-d has made it by and by,
There are galaxies swirling high above,
A comet shooting through now and then,

In our world is the wonderous sunshine
and trees blooming far below,
Grasses growing and all that is living
Flowers here and there

But even as much as all that is living
And the stars in the heavenly night
Is as precious to us as a single dry leaf
Falling from a tree below before the snow.

This is my G-d’s world where even a dry leaf is as precious and wonderous as the highest forms of creation. Such are the dark angels like Duma serving the Creator deep below.

Here is a modern commentary:[1687]

Text 16-7: Gehenom
The Nefesh is handed over to the Prince or Angel of Gehenom, Duma. There he is led through the seven gates to the heart of Hell where he is bound in on all sides by fire. On the Sabbath it is believed that the tall gates are temporarily opened & that the Nefesh grades may wander as far as the outer gates to commune with the souls living there. There in Gehenom they remain until the general resurrection.

16.6 Fallen Beings

The personification of evil external to man entered Judaism during the Babylonian exile. Babylonian culture maintained ideas of both a good and evil deity. At this time Judaism personified the serpent in the Garden of Eden as possessed by a being called Satan. Prior to this time, the term refers to any adversary of the people of Israel. The concept of a rebellious angel is a fringe concept in Judaism. In the heavenly world where truth is revealed such a being would not find it sensible to rebel since the angel would be denying itself the obvious true pleasure of the light of G-d (see Abraham Abulafia). Instead, the fallen angel is the manifestation of man’s sin, serving Hashem guiding those in[1688]enom.1688 A fundamental Jewish principle is that angels do not have free will; they are direct agents of G-d. They are in essence the extension of G-d like robots or computers for people today.

The Zohar and other texts refer to the ‘Book of Enoch I’ as a source text for the concept of fallen angels. “It is from this Book that the first notions of the Fallen Angels were taken by the early Christian writers.”[1689] This text illustrates the thin line from a valid though heavily influenced Persian strain of Judaism into mainstream Christianity, which acknowledges the external forces of the Devil. Modern Judaism prefers the version of Job where Satan is a prosecuting angel serving G-d even in his rebelliousness, as opposed to a fallen angel leading a conspiracy.[1690]

Meditation 16-5: Fallen Angels
“There was an angel I placed over all my host. His glory was as magnificent as the Sun and Moon together. He was as a son to Me and I endowed him with self-awareness and free will. Unlike the lower angels who serve all my commands, the higher angels have knowledge, will, and self-determination like mankind. This angel had twelve wings and with all these wings fluttering around him he became consumed with his own glory. ‘Sammael was the great prince in heaven;
the Chayot had four wings and the Seraphim had six wings, and Sammael had twelve wings.’” [1691]

I asked how could an angel make a mistake and think its power independent of the Creator of all? “This angel knew that all of its sustenance was from Me, but its role as shield of my Light to all of creation led it to believe that it could dominate over all in the way that it wanted. The angel bore twelve wings for the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve signs of the year denoting that its power was over all creation, only I transcended him. So in jealousy and beguiled by his own wings of glory, he sought to separate man from Me and be as god unto them. Hence, he applied the serpent to his own purpose to turn a sinful man to his worship. He also had followers, though of limited consciousness, which were still higher angels capable of independent thought from Me. In the end, I cast the prince in heaven down to earth, him with all his host and they dissolved into pockets of evil which remain in the world to this day. When a person inclines to evil has vshalom, they attach to these pockets and fall into sin. The fallen angels no longer have distinct identity but burned up in their fiery descent down. Still, their ideas and shells remain in fragments throughout the world.

They remain in the world because separation from Me necessitates the existence of evil. Yet, there is hope and a joining for those who overcome these fragments. Michael took the place of the Prince, until Hanoch walked the Earth whereupon I took him into heaven and now he is My Metatron who stands before My throne; who being a ‘small child’ [1692] is humbled before the Great Angels and yet, I have made him ruler over them.”

In Jewish meditative experience, one encounters and transcends klipot forces—fragments of the shattered sefirot not fallen angels. These resemble the experiences of Elijah who while hiding in a cave fights off a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire before he hears the small voice, which is the presence of G-d. These are authentic meditative experiences. Fallen beings when they exist are mortals like man and pass away from this world. (Really? Show the source à Rashi teaches that some heavenly beings claimed they could outdo man; thus, they became the Nephilim consumed with their own greatness.) Nofel Coav – fallen star (meteor) represents the children of these sons of G-d with daughters of men.

Text 16-8: Genesis 6:4
There were Nephilim on the earth in those days, and also later, when the sons of the rulers/gods/god came to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mightiest ones from the world, famous men.

Text 16-9: Rashi on Genesis 6:4
The Nephilim were so called because they “fell” and caused the downfall of the world. (downfall – by sinning and robbing. However in Bamidbar 13, 37, Rashi explains that the Nephilim were so called because they were beings who “fell” from the heavens: “Giants, of the children of Shamhazzai and Azael who had fallen from heaven in the days of the generation of Enosh” also see Bereshit Rabbah 26:7)

Rabbi Nachman tells a story about the Dreidle, which sheds light here:[1693]

Text 16-10: Rabbi Nachman on Angels
The world is a rotating wheel. It is like a Dreidle, where everything goes in cycles. Man becomes angel, and angel becomes man. Head becomes foot, and foot becomes head. Everything goes in cycles, revolving and alternating. All things interchange, one from another and one to another, elevating the low and lowering the high.

All things have one root. There are transcendental beings such as angels, which have no connection with the material...

Our sages teach us that angels were cast down from heaven. They entered physical bodies and were subject to all worldly lusts. Other angels were sent on missions to our world and had to clothe themselves in physical bodies. We also find cases where human beings literally become angels.

For the world is like a rotating wheel. It spins like a Dreidle, with all things emanating from one root...

The belief in fallen angels suggests that angels have free will, has vshalom. In general, Judaism refutes this idea except in a few instances that are post-biblical. The Bahir says:[1694]

Text 16-11: Bahir on the Angel SM
His disciples asked: Tell us how this took place. He replied: The wicked Samael made a bond with all the host on high against his Master. This was because the Blessed Holy One said [regarding man] (Genesis 1:26), “And let him rule over the fish of the sea and the flying things of the heaven” [implying angels]. [Samael] said, “How can we cause him to sin and be exiled from before G-d?” He descended with all his host, and sought a suitable companion on earth. He finally found the serpent, which looked like a camel, and he rode on it.”[1695]

Yet, the Angel of Death is the Samech Mem executing the will of G-d. Samech Mem is 100, which represents the amplification of the power of G-d that is the Ten sefirot. There are angels that appear to be evil to men but are still only extensions of the will of G-d for the purpose of reward and punishment and to preserve freewill. Samael possesses a jealousy of the position of man in God’s eyes.

Similarly in the Shaarei Orah – ‘The Gates of Light’ on the subject of Esau:[1696]

Text 16-12: Gates of Light on the Angel SM
For his guardian angel is called Samael, who gives strength to the SAIRim and sustains the life-force of the planet Mars. However, he is not one of the seventy guardian angels who will always stand as they are.[1697] Thus, the verse tells us: “The Lord will be at war with Amalek throughout every generation.”[1698]

He is the Satan who is the celestial accuser against Israel; he is Samael the wicked. When the time comes for redemption, what is written about Samael, the wicked? “Should you nest as high as an eagle or place your nest among the stars, I will bring you down from there; says the Lord.” (Obadiah 1). How will He bring him down? The masters of salvation, YHVH, ELoHIM, TZVAOT upon Har TziYon, which is the essence of EL ChaY, are to judge Har Esav, which is Har SAIR, “For G-d will visit the hosts of heaven in heaven, and the kings of the earth on the earth.”[1699]

The guardian angel reflects it nation. While punishment is meted out on earth, so it is meted out on high. The angels on high reflect the people below. In reflection, their end is the same end as people.

In this manner the angels that fell from heaven in their rebellion, burned up during their descent leaving shards or pockets of emptiness of the goodness of God. Unlike gathering sparks from shattered vessels, we must have no mercy on the shards of destruction in the world. The pockets drift in emptiness permitting the entry of evil and may attach to those in the pursuit of evil. The tikkun or rectification for the pocket of emptiness is while in the midst of its possession one throws off the evil inclination instantly. The spirit of God will fill the empty pocket leading to its complete annihilation.

16.7 Freewill amongst the Angels NOT

Thomas Aquinas advocates that free will exists in higher angels in proportion to their intellect. “Though truth be self-evident in the heavens, it does not negate the existence of free will.”[1700] While Christian theology explains the concept of fallen angels with the idea of free will and potential for sin, Jewish theology explains that angels like animals behave according to nature, neither sinning or choosing good, their deeds are the reflection of man, they are his manifestations, his forces of corruption or his forces of good.

Text 16-13: Thomas Aquinas on Fallen Angels and Free Will
Whether there is free-will in the angels?

Objection 1. It would seem that there is no free-will in the angels. For the act of free-will is to choose. But there can be no choice with the angels, because choice is "the desire of something after taking counsel," while counsel is "a kind of inquiry," as stated in Ethic. iii, 3. But the angels' knowledge is not the result of inquiring, for this belongs to the discursiveness of reason. Therefore it appears that there is no free-will in the angels.

Objection 2. Further, free-will implies indifference to alternatives. But in the angels on the part of their intellect there is no such indifference; because, as was observed already (58, 5), their intellect is not deceived as to things which are naturally intelligible to them. Therefore neither on the part of their appetitive faculty can there be free-will.

Objection 3. Further, the natural endowments of the angels belong to them according to degrees of more or less; because in the higher angels the intellectual nature is more perfect than in the lower. But the free-will does not admit of degrees. Therefore there is no free-will in them.

On the contrary, Free-will is part of man's dignity. But the angels' dignity surpasses that of men. Therefore, since free-will is in men, with much more reason is it in the angels.

I answer that, Some things there are which act, not from any previous judgment, but, as it were, moved and made to act by others; just as the arrow is directed to the target by the archer. Others act from some kind of judgment; but not from free-will, such as irrational animals; for the sheep flies from the wolf by a kind of judgment whereby it esteems it to be hurtful to itself: such a judgment is not a free one, but implanted by nature. Only an agent endowed with an intellect can act with a judgment which is free, in so far as it apprehends the common note of goodness; from which it can judge this or the other thing to be good. Consequently, wherever there is intellect, there is free-will. It is therefore manifest that just as there is intellect, so is there free-will in the angels, and in a higher degree of perfection than in man.

Reply to Objection 1. The Philosopher is speaking of choice, as it is in man. As a man's estimate in speculative matters differs from an angel's in this, that the one needs not to inquire, while the other does so need; so is it in practical matters. Hence there is choice in the angels, yet not with the inquisitive deliberation of counsel, but by the sudden acceptance of truth.

Reply to Objection 2. As was observed already (2), knowledge is effected by the presence of the known within the knower. Now it is a mark of imperfection in anything not to have within it what it should naturally have. Consequently an angel would not be perfect in his nature, if his intellect were not determined to every truth which he can know naturally. But the act of the appetitive faculty comes of this, that the affection is directed to something outside. Yet the perfection of a thing does not come from everything to which it is inclined, but only from something which is higher than it. Therefore it does not argue imperfection in an angel if his will be not determined with regard to things beneath him; but it would argue imperfection in him, with he to be indeterminate to what is above him.

Reply to Objection 3. Free-will exists in a nobler manner in the higher angels than it does in the lower, as also does the judgment of the intellect. Yet it is true that liberty, in so far as the removal of compulsion is considered, is not susceptible of greater and less degree; because privations and negations are not lessened nor increased directly of themselves; but only by their cause, or through the addition of some qualification.

Judaism does not portray angels with free will. They are extensions of G-d’s will. The word melachim, messenger, is from holech in Hebrew, meaning, “to go.”[1701] This is “to go” according to the will of G-d. Later stories externalizing evil and suggesting that the ‘rebellious’ angel Samael possessed the serpent in the Garden of Eden have even influenced a section in the Bahir. There are many Midrashim that present conflicting opinions of angels in a debate before the King of Kings. While the archangels appear to possess a degree of free will in the dialog, they do not. Ultimately angels are like animals their deeds known to G-d, their actions dictated by their nature. They have feelings, but there is no sin, their actions are entirely the result of their nature. Their deeds do not manifest forces of corruption or forces of reward[1702] as do the actions of man. There is no consequence in their deed. Like animals, angels behave entirely according to the law of their nature. Yet, even as we may describe the behavior of angels or animals as good and evil in its relative consequence to our well-being; angels and animals do not sin, but behave according to their nature.

Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn presents his summary of the position of angels in regards to free-will in his essay entitled, “Who is like You”.[1703]

Text 16-14: Shmuel Schneersohn of Lubavitch
This explains Onkelus’ translation of [“Who is like You among the supernal beings”]: “There is nothing besides You.” Onkelus here means to negate the notion of sheetuf (partnership). In other words, although the supernal beings are the greatest creatures, nevertheless, even they are not truly existent. For, at the will of the Creator, more than their allotted portion of [divine energy] can be revealed to them, which could cause them to become entirely nonexistent. This indeed occurred when G-d extended His small finger among [the angels] and consumed them, meaning that they became entirely nonexistent. Similarly, if the Creator wills it, He can reveal [Himself] to the other angels and they will lose their existence.

Therefore, even when they are not confronted with a revelation that exceeds their allotted share, they are not truly existent. Rather, they are messengers through whom sustenance is channeled. They are like the axe in the hand of the woodchopper, which has no freedom of choice at all. It is therefore inconceivable to call them partners [to G-d].

By contrast, G-d granted honor to a father and mother, as in the verse, “Honor your father and mother.” This is because there are three partners in the creation of man [G-d, father, and mother]. And the parents are called partners—although their contribution cannot compare to the contribution of G-d—because they at least have freedom of choice. The angels, on the other hand, do not have freedom of choice at all. Rather, they are like an axe in the hand of a woodchopper.

(There are instances where the sages seem to imply that angels do have freedom of choice.] Our Sages relate, “Matat was ejected.” Also in Bava Metzia (85b) our Sages state: “They brought Elijah and administered to him 60 lashes of fire” because he had deviated [from the divine plan] and revealed supernal secrets in the lower worlds. However, it can be said that these angels were originally souls. [Elijah was originally human and] Matat was originally Enoch. So it can be said that even now they possess freedom of choice. But other angels do not have freedom of choice and are no more than an axe in the hand of the woodchopper.)

This the meaning of “Who is like You among the supernal beings, O G-d!”—even among the supernal beings, namely the angels, who are sichlim nivdalim, there is nothing besides You. For the truth is that even the body of an angel is made up of two elements, fire and air. As it is written, “He makes the winds His angels, His ministers flaming fire.” And the main thing is the sustaining and combining of the elements, which is achieved by the utterance and breath of the mouth of G-d, Who sustains them.

Thus there is nothing besides Him, etc. And consequently, it is impossible to suggest the notion of sheetuf, which is to combine the Name of G-d with something else, since the truth is that when one looks closely [one sees that] there is no reality at all outside of him, etc.

Hence, “fallen angels” did not have free will. They could not be evil. There nature though rebellious is in direct accordance with the will of G-d. Such angels thought that they could do better than men; hence, the Almighty sent them to Earth where they became men. There boasting is not based on free will. They are neither good nor evil. Hence, even the Satan is a servant of G-d and does not have free will. Hence, it is incapable of good or evil though for man he is corruption—for Hashem he proves man and insures free will. Azazel, the accuser, who receives an offering each Yom Kippur in the wilderness, is another fallen angel.

[1653] Likutey Moharan I:282. Azamra – ‘I will sing’ pamphlet.
[1654] Gevurah and Hod – July 19, 1993, Monday 1st of Av, 7 AM
[1655] By coincidence I am reentering this lesson on a Monday in Tevet into a word processor.
[1656] I was born in the year of the tiger, 1962. The Chinese signs reflect our latent ego. When we manifest the qualities of the sign authentically we move towards our potential.
[1657] refers to this shape as the “magical cross-square”
[1658] Adonay, Adonay, El Rahum vHanoon, Erech Apayim vRav Hesed vEmet, Notzar Hesed Lalaphim, Notzar Avon vPesha vHataah vNakei – G-d, G-d, the Merciful and Gracious, Long Faced and abundant in Kindness and Truth, extending kindness to the thousands, reaching for sin and transgression and error and cleansing.
[1659] See Merkavah
[1660] The seraph was from the Plane of Fire as I would discover years later.
[1661] To Hell and Back – November 27, 1993
[1662] The shape was a “teenage ninja turtle.”
[1663] There is never a waiting line here for “the wicked do not repent even at the entrance to Hell.” (Eruvin 19a – quoted in Strive for Truth 1, p. 156) Free will is in this world and our opportunity for repentance is here and now.
[1664] Zohar Terumah 150b quoted in Strive for Truth, Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, Part 3, p. 210, “Gehinnom is fired by the fierce heat of the yetzer ha-ra of the wicked.”
[1665] There is no fire in hell except around the souls who create it. This also means that evil cannot exist in and of itself as a force separate from a divine soul. Likutey Moharan 27:10 volume IV, note 18, page 171 comments on “being forced to sing songs” (Psalm 137), while the Babylonians marched us into captivity: “This is because singing and playing their music separates the good in their song from the evil. Evil has no existence of its own, and survives only by virtue of the good in its midst. Removing the good leaves the enemy without any subsistence and in this way G-d saves us from him.” Years later I found the same idea in Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld’s lecture on Eyn Yaacov Bava Kamma 2 at 1:07:00—the sins of a person are the source of the fire of Gehenom.
[1666] The idea that Avraham can lift a Jew from Gehenom is found in Kabbalistic sources.
[1667] I held a weekly class at the San Jose Chai House on Judaism.
[1668]Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil, in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy G-d, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances; then thou shalt live and multiply, and the Lord thy G-d shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.” (Deuteronomy 30:13-16)
[1669] Daniel 7:9-14
[1670] Likutey Moharan 1B, #8:5, footnote 41, page 48.
[1671] Proverbs 12:21
[1672] Tikkuney Zohar 22.
[1673] “Being attached to the very Source, to the YHVH, he transcends the origin of the wicked man’s ruach. This explains why the perfect tzaddik remains unaffected by the wicked man’s ruach.” Likutey Moharan 1B #8:5, page 49, footnote 40.
[1674] Genesis 13:1. “His going down into Egypt was in order to subdue and humble the wickedness of the land. After succeeding, he ascended from there, complete and without lack.” Likutey Moharan 1B #8:5, page 48 footnote 42.
[1675] Sefer Yetzirah, Aryeh Kaplan, p. 199.
[1676] This sentence is a mystery.
[1677] [Ayn Aya I: 102] Rabbi Chanan Morrison,
[1678] [adapted from Ein Eyah vol. II, pp. 275-6]
[1679] Mr. Waxman’s writings: Sefer Shinuyim – Book of Changes – ספר שינויים
[1680], Jonathan Waxman
[1681] Jonathan Waxman Sitemap, Sefer Shinuyim - Book of Changes
[1682] The Light Beyond, Aryeh Kaplan, p. 294.
[1683] Dec 21, 2001 – 10:30 PM – 12:05 AM
[1684] Zohar Volume I, trans. Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon, Prologue, 8a-9a, pp. 34-36
[1685] Circling the gates
[1686] These were like ski ball or bowling.
[1687] Kabbalah An Introduction and Illumination for the World Today, Charles Ponce, 1973, p.214
[1688] See Meditation 16-4: The Beauty of Darkness and Duma p.315
[1689] The Book of Enoch The Prophet, trans. Richard Laurence, London 1883, Secret Doctrine Reference Series, page 186.
[1690] December 18, 2002. Institute Library, 1:00 PM.
[1691] Perkei de Rabbe Eliezer, trans. Gerald Friedlander, Sepher-Hermon Press, New York, p.92.
[1692] The Angels call Metatron the ‘small child’ since they are older than him.
[1693] Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom, 40, pp. 142-143.
[1694] One should not pronounce the name of the angel SM. See in red.
[1695] Bahir 200.
[1696] Gates of Light, The Second Gate, The Ninth Sphere, page 99.
[1697] These are the 70 guardian angels of the 70 nations of the world listed in Genesis after the flood.
[1698] Exodus 17:16
[1699] Isaiah 24:21
[1700] The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Second and Revised Edition, 1920, Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province,
[1701] Harris Lenowitz at the house of Michael T. Walton, Salt Lake City, Utah, 12/30/01.
[1702] see Luzatto’s Essay on Fundamentals
[1703] True Existence, Shmuel Schneersohn, pp.48-49

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