The Breaking of the Vessels (Part 4)

The Zohar offers us some astoundingly picturesque and evocative portrayals of this event which is rooted in Din and is the source of all wrong and evil. It speaks of the formation of “a head lying astride a camel, a head of opaque darkness spreading” and of the fact that “smoke started to emit from the terrible rage … (which) curled outward like a cunning snake to practice evil” which then formulated seven dreadful levels of evil, corresponding to the seven Sephirot that shattered (2, pp. 242b-244b). And it speaks elsewhere of seven (evil) breaths (1, pp. 146b-147a); of the Tohu and Bohu (“astonishing desolation”) spoken of in Genesis 1:2 (1, p. 16a); of the “four husks” that came about by the breakage (1, pp. 19b-20a; 2, pp. 108b, 140b-141a, 203a-b; 3, pp. 227a-b); of the roles played by the snake (1, p. 243b), various monsters (1, pp. 34a-35b, 52a), the ox, donkey, and dog (2, pp. 64a-65a), and more.

(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

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