Ch. 24, class # 2

Continuation of Chapter 24

והוא בתכלית הפירוד מיחודו ואחדותו של הקב״ה יותר ממנה, וכאלו כופר באחדותו יותר ממנה, חס ושלום

He is separated completely from G‑d’s unity and oneness even more than they are, as though denying His unity even more radically than they, G‑d forbid.

וכמו שכתוב בעץ חיים שער מ״ב סוף פרק ד’, שהרע שבעולם הזה החומרי הוא שמרי הקליפות הגסות כו‘, והוא תכלית הבירור וכו’

This is similar to what is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 42, end of ch. 4, that the evil in this corporeal world is the dregs of the coarse kelipot; it is the sediment of the purifying process, and so on.

I.e., after whatever sparks of good that are found in the kelipot have been isolated and elevated, what remains is kelipah in its lowest, coarsest form. Thiskelipah is the evil found in this material world.

ולכן כל מעשה עולם הזה קשים ורעים, והרשעים גוברים בו וכו‘

For this reason, all matters of this world are harsh and evil, and the wicked prevail in it, and so forth.

ולכן אמרו רז״ל על פסוק כי תשטה אשתו: אין אדם עובר עבירה כו’

This explains the commentary of our Sages on the verse, 3 “If a man’s wife turns aside [and commits adultery].” 4 — “No man commits any transgression unless a spirit of folly has entered into him.

The Sages thus relate the root ofתשטה — ”turns aside,“ toשטות — ”folly“.

דאפילו אשה המנאפת, שדעתה קלה, היתה מושלת ברוח תאותה לולי רוח שטות שבה

For even an adulterous woman, with her frivolous nature, could have controlled her passionate drive were it not for the spirit of folly within her,

המכסה ומסתיר ומעלים את האהבה מסותרת שבנפשה האלקית, לדבקה באמונת ה‘ ויחודו ואחדותו, ולא ליפרד חס ושלום מאחדותו, אפילו נוטלים את נפשה ממנה, לעבוד עבודה זרה, חס ושלום

which covers and conceals the hidden love within her divine soul, that yearns to cleave to her faith in G‑d, and to His unity and oneness, and that resists even on pain of death, any separation from His unity through idol-worship, i.e., even this adultress would willingly sacrifice her life, rather than submit to coercion to practice idolatry,

ואפילו בהשתחואה לבדה, בלי שום אמונה בלב כלל

even if this idol-worship would consist merely of an empty act of prostrating herselfbefore the idolized object, without any belief in her heart in the validity of idol-worship.

וכל שכן לכבוש היצר ותאות הניאוף שהם יסורים קלים ממיתה, ה’ ישמרנו

Now, if her hidden love of G‑d has the power to enable her to face death rather than be separated from Him, surely then it is within its power to overcome the temptation and lust for adultery, which is lighter suffering than death (May G‑d protect us!).

It is only the ”spirit of folly,“ i.e., the notion that her sin will not tear her away from G‑dliness, that leads her to commit adultery.

It might be argued, however, that she differentiates between idolatry and adultery; she regards the former as much more heinous (and thus more certain to tear her away from G‑d) than the latter. Perhaps this differentiation (not the ”spirit of folly“) is why she would sacrifice her life rather than practice idolatry, yet at the same time she would not sacrifice her temptation for adultery.

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3. Bamidbar 5:12.
4. Sotah 3a

 

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