Chapter 24: a sin is even worse than the Kelipos
14th Shevat/(LY)24th Shevat
1. The negative commands prohibit the actions of evil that separate one from G-d:
- Actions that separate one from G-d: G-d created evil corresponding to good. [Just as the Torah and mitzvahs which are from the side of good connect and attach the Jew to G-d so too G-d created actions in the side of evil that separate one from G-d.]
- The prohibited actions of the 365 negative commands are separated from G-d: The 365 biblical negative commands as well, as all the rabbinical commands, deal with those actions that feed the side of evil. All of the actions that they prohibit are in contrary to the will and wisdom of G-d and are their complete antithesis. These prohibited actions are completely separated from G-d’s unity in the ultimate separation, to the same extent as the side of evil and Kelipa which is referred to as idol worship and as a foreign deity due to its concealment of the divine will.
2. During sin man unites with evil and becomes separate from G-d:
- The garments of the soul during sin: The three garments of the animal soul of a Jew which comes from Kelipas Noga, which refers to the power of thought speech and action, become completely separate from G-d at the time that it transgresses one of the 365 biblical negative prohibitions and rabbinical prohibitions.
- The essence of the soul during sin: Likewise, the essence of the soul itself which is invested in these garments also becomes separated from G-d at the time of the transgression.
- United with the side of evil: Furthermore, the above garments as well as the essence of the soul, which is invested within it, becomes united with the side of evil and the Kelipa of this transgression, which is considered idolatry.
3. A sin is even worse than evil:
- When a person commits a sin, not only do his soul and its garments become nullified and secondary to the side of evil, but furthermore they become much worse than it.
- Evil does not rebel against G-d: The side of evil is not invested in a physical body, and it recognizes its creator and does not rebel against Him heaven forbid. All of the evil committed by the side of evil through its evil angelic emissaries, are all done under the guidance and will of G-d. This was expressed by Balaam who stated that he cannot transgress the word of G-d. Even idols and idol worshipers refer to G-d as the G-d of all G-d’s, and they are unable at all to transgress the will of G-d. This is because the side of evil understands and comprehends that their entire life and energy comes from the external of the external part of G-d’s will which encompasses them.
- Evil rejects G-d’s unity: Nonetheless, since the nurture that evil receives is from the external side of holiness, this G-dly energy is therefore exiled within the evil to the point that they view themselves as separate entities and deities, and this indeed is a denial of G-d’s unity.
- Evil does not deny G-d’s existence: However, the side of evil does not completely deny the existence of G-d to say that He does not exist but simply states that He is the G-d of all G-d’s. Meaning, that they admit that all of their energy and existence is drawn and descended upon them from the will of G-d and therefore, they do not transgress G-d’s will.
- A man who sins is worse than the side of evil: Based on the above it is understood that when a person sins and transgress the will of G-d he is much worse than the side of evil which is considered idolatry and a foreign deity. During sin the person is found in a state of separation from G-d’s unity even more than the side of evil and is considered to be denying G-d’s unity even more than the side of evil heaven forbid.
4. This world contains the most evil, tragedy, and cruelty:
- The worst of the side of evil: The above ability for man in this world to sin and hence become even worse than the side of evil, is due to the fact that this physical world contains the worst level of evil which is the dregs of the most course Kelipos, that contain no mingling of good, and rather contain the worst of the worst of the side of evil, [similar to the bottom section of dregs of wine which contains the most course dregs].
- Dangers and Tragic occurrences: It is due to this reason that this physical world contains many severities and evil with tragedies.
- Dominance of evildoers: It is likewise for this reason that the evildoers retain success and dominance in this world.
5. A sinner is like an unfaithful wife who is overtaken by a spirit of folly:
- On the verse, “when a man’s life sways from him [i.e. infidelity],” the sages state that a person does not commit a sin unless a spirit of folly has overtaken him. The reason for this is as follows:
- Even an adulterous wife can overcome her lusts if not for the spirit of folly: Even a woman who is lightheaded and adulterous is capable of overcoming and controlling her lusts if not for the spirit of folly that overcomes her.
- She would be willing to give up her life for G-d: She too contains a hidden love for G-d within her G-dly soul which has complete faith in G-d and desires to attach to His unity and not be separated from His unity G-d forbid, even on expense of them taking her soul, such as if they threaten her to serve idolatry she would give up her life rather than do so. In fact, she would be willing to give up her life even to not simply prostrate herself to idolatry, even though in her heart she remains faithful to G-d.
- The spirit of folly conceals this love: Why then does she sin against G-d and her husband in the adulterous relationship? If she’s even willing to give up her life for G-d’s unity then certainly she can quash and control her lust and passion for promiscuity which is much less of a suffering then is death, may G-d protect us. Why then does she not do so? This is due to the spirit of folly which conceals and hides this love for G-d.
- Spirit of folly confuses her into thinking that the sin doesn’t separate her from G-d: Likewise, the spirit of folly causes her to falsely differentiate between the prohibition against adultery and the prohibition to prostrate to idolatry [in which she tells herself that she will remain united with G-d despite her sin of adultery], as in truth there is no difference as both of these sins separate her from G-d.
- The spirit of folly covers over the G-dly soul up until the level of Chochma: This spirit of folly derives from the side of Kelipa which garbs the G-dly soul up until the level of Chochma of the soul [and is hence able to convince her that she will remain connected to G-d despite her sin], however not including this level of Chochma which remains unconcealed by the spirit of folly due to the light of G-d that shines within it [and hence is not able to convince her to transgress the sin of idolatry]. However, in truth even one who transgresses a light sin, transgress the will of G-d and is found in a state of complete separation from G-d’s unity even more than the side of evil and Kelipa which is referred to as a foreign G-d and actual idolatry.
6. A sinner is worse than all of the impure creatures:
- The separation from G-d which a sin causes a Jew is even worse than the separation of all the creations in this world that receive their sustenance from the side of evil, such as the impure animals and birds and all of the reptiles and insects.
- Worse than a gnat and wild carnivores: It is due to this that our sages teach us that even the gnat was created before man [as it is possible for men to become even worse than the gnat]. The reason for emphasizing the gnat is because a nap is the ultimate creation from the side of evil being that it only consumes and does not expel and is hence most utterly distanced from the side of holiness which is all about giving. When a man sins, then the gnat is even higher than him on the chain level of descent of the energy from the divine will. He is certainly worse than all of the other impure animals including even the wild carnivorous animals.
- Animals do not stray from their G-dly purpose and instructions: The reason for why a sinner is even worse than the above wild animals and creatures is because they do not change from the nature that G-d invested within them, and the G-dly instructions for these creatures is guarded by their souls, as even though they do not consciously recognize this, their soul root does consciously see it.
- Animals fear man: An example of this can be seen from the fact that Scripture states that the fear of man will be felt upon all animals of the earth, on which the sages state that a wild animal does not have control over a person unless the person likewise appears to them as an animal. However, those who are Tzaddikim, who retain the image of G-d on their faces, all of the wild animals subordinate and subjugate themselves before them as explained in the Zohar regarding the story of Daniel who left unscathed from a den of lions.
- A sinner is worse in the above animals: Accordingly, it is understood that a sinner who transgresses the will of G-d, even if it is a light sin, at the time of the sin he is found in the ultimate state of separation from the supernal holiness, which is the unity of G-d. He is more separate from G-d than all of the impure animals and creatures and insects which come from the side of evil and Kelipa of idolatry.
7. Why danger of life overrides all the negative commands other than idolatry, adultery, and murder if all sins separate one from G-d and are like idolatry:
- Why transgress the commands due to Pikuach Nefesh: According to the above approach that even the lightest of sin separates one from G-d similar to idolatry, it is not understood as to why the rule is that danger of life overrides all the other sins [as we instruct the person to transgress a sin if it’s fulfillment may cause danger of life] and that he should rather transgress then be killed [and it is only by the three cardinal sins of idolatry, adultery, murder, that we say that he should rather be killed then transgress]. [This seems to imply that indeed sins other than idolatry and the like do not separate one from G-d, and hence the perspective which differentiates between idolatry and other sins has reason behind it and it is not due to a spirit of folly.]
- Transgress by Pikuach Nefesh in order to fulfill more mitzvahs: The explanation behind the above is based on the teaching of the sages which states that it is better that one desecrate a single Shabbos in order so he come to guard many Shabbasos [and hence so too by all the other prohibitions and mitzvahs, we state that it is better that one temporarily transgress it for the sake of being able to live and fulfill them for the rest of his life]. Hence, it is clear that the reason that Pikuach Nefesh defers all the other mitzvahs is not due to the been considered light, but rather simply due to the reason of future investment.
- Shabbos is like idolatry and yet is deferred due to Pikuach Nefesh: A proof for the above idea that it is not the level of severity of the transgression which determines whether it is deferred due to danger of life can be seen from the law regarding Shabbos. Shabbos is considered so severe of a command that its transgression is equated to idolatry regarding the validity of a ritual slaughter [that if a person transgresses Shabbos, then he is deemed invalid to slaughter animals, similar to one who serves idolatry].
- Incest is not as severe as Shabbos transgression and yet is not deferred at a time danger: This is despite the fact that even one who commits sins of incest and adultery, his ritual slaughtering remains valid. Now, notwithstanding all this, the law still remains that danger of life defers the observance of Shabbos but does not defer the prohibition of incest and adultery. Rather this entire concept that danger of life does not defer the sin of incest and adultery is a decree of the verse that is not based on logic.
8. The aftereffect of a sin is dependent on the severity of the sin:
- Although, as we stated above, all sins separate one from G-d similar to idolatry, this only applies during the actual time that the sin is being transgressed, however, the aftereffect of a sin which applies after the transgression is finished is not the same by all sins.
- The aftereffect on the G-dly soul by sins with penalty of death and excision: Those sins which carry with them the punishment of excision and death in the hands of heaven, cause one’s soul to be completely cut off from its root in the living G-d and hence the G-dly soul is considered as if it is completely dead.
- The aftereffect on the G-dly soul by sins that do not carry penalty of death or excision: However, by those sins which do not carry with them the penalty of excision and death in the hands of heaven, their aftereffect does not cause one’s G-dly soul to be completely dead and cut off from its root in the living G-d. Rather, after the sin is transgressed, only a slight part of its attachment in connection to its source is blemished as a result of the sin.
- Gloss-The level of purgatory is commensurate to the type of blemish: Not only is the actual soul below within the physical body slightly blemished as a result of the sin, but also its root above in heaven is blemished as well. Now, dependent on the quality of this blemish is the type of suffering that the soul will need to purify it and cure it, whether it be suffering in Gihennom or a suffering in this physical world. Every single sin and transgression have a specific punishment that corresponds to it in order to purify and cleanse the blemish and stay away from the soul. Even those sins that carry with them the penalty of death and excision do not all have the same effect on the soul in terms of the blemish that they create in the commensurate purification and punishment necessary to clean it and purify it.
- Even the animal soul and body return to G-d after the sin: Although at the time of the sin the animal soul and body become completely separated from G-d, after the sin is transgressed, also the animal soul which is invested within the body, as well as the body itself, return and ascend from the side of evil and the Kelipa of the sin and become approximated to the holiness of the G-dly soul that is invested within them which believes in the one G-d.
9. Even during the sin the G-dly soul remained faithful to G-d:
- Not only does the G-dly soul remain connected to G-d after the sin is transgressed [by sins that do not carry with them the penalty of excision and death], but furthermore, even during the transgression of the sin itself the G-dly soul remained faithful to G-d and always retains his belief in Him [unless it is a sin which carries with it the penalty of excision or death in which case it is cut off from G-d even after the sin is over and certainly during the sin].
- The G-dly soul is in a state of exile during the sin: Nonetheless, during the transgression the G-dly soul is in a state of actual exile within the animal soul and Sitra Achra, which is causing the body to sin and demoting it into the depths of purgatory, deep deep below into the impurity of the Sitra Achra and Kelipa of idolatry, May G-d protect us.
- The G-dly soul is thrown from the heavens to a deep pit on earth: There is no greater exile then this, to have the G-dly soul be thrown from its high place in heaven to the pits of evil, as it was already explained that the root and source of all of the souls of Israel comes from the supernal wisdom which is absolutely one with G-d Himself.
- Plunging the Kings head into feces: To what is the above similar, to one who takes hold of the head of the king and plunges it downwards into a toilet that is filled with feces. There is no greater humiliation than this. Even if one only does so temporarily for a short amount of time it is still considered a great humiliation for the king. This is precisely what occurs when a person sins, as he takes the G-dly soul which derives from the wisdom of G-d which is one with G-d and plunges it into the side of evil which is called feces and vomit, as is known.