The Zohar/Rav Brandwein Writings
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PARSHAS KI SAYTZAY
Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Jerusalem 5763 (in translation)
(The Parsha begins with the words,) “When you go out to war against your enemy, Havaya your Elokim will give them into your hand, and you will capture a captive…”
(What is the meaning of “your hand”?) (Also, why does the verse combine two seemingly conflicting names of Hashem, the Havaya (Yud Kay Vav Kay) and Elokim, when Havaya represents Emanation of Holiness, while Elokim represents restriction that allows the existence of Nature, which appears separate from Holiness?)
Rashi explains that the verse is speaking of a Reshus (permissive, choice) war, (not a Divinely commanded battle).
The Baal Hasulam, Rabbi Ashlag, whose merit should protect us, writes in his book, Peri Chacham, (The Fruit of the Sage), that existence is divided into three domains: 1) a place of Holiness and Mitzvah, 2) a place of impurity and sin, 3) a place of Reshus (permissibility), (a place where you have free choice to use things which are presently neutral, since they come from Kelipas Nogah, where they are between the realms of Holiness and Impurity, and the chosen action upon them will immediately place the object into the realm of Holiness or Impurity). This means to say that Reshus is not a place of Holiness or impurity, not a place of Mitzvah or sin, e.g. a person who makes a living from a profession, or a person who goes to a doctor for healing, and all natural actions, which are not included in the enumerated Mitzvos. Furthermore, it is understood, that there is no sin in them, G-d forbid, (they are presently neutral and are permitted to be used.) These are in the realm of Reshus, i.e. they contain neither a Mitzvah nor a sin.
According to this, it is understood, that in the place of Holiness and a Mitzvah, there is no need to make repairs and refinement, for on the contrary, from the power of the Mitzvah’s action, it is possible to refine other places. These are the positive Mitzvos (Mitzvos Ahsay).
On the other side, a place of sin cannot be refined. For example, with a type of food, which is forbidden to be consumed, it is impossible for a person to say they are eating it for the sake of Heaven. Rather, (one is obligated) to distance (oneself) from (the forbidden items). These are the prohibitive Mitzvos, (Mitzvos Lo Sa’ahsay).
A place of Reshus is a place of choice, dependent on the intent of the person. If, for example, a person works to make a living, or goes to a doctor for healing, and afterwards attributes their success to Hakadosh Baruch Hu and not to their own powers, the result is that they have expanded the place of Holiness and applied its dominion even onto the place of Reshus. And if the opposite, G-d forbid, that they attribute all of their success to their own powers and “strength of their own hand”, they thereby expand the place of Impurity, which then rules even in the place of Reshus.
The place of Reshus includes all of nature that a person uses throughout their life. (“The nature”) Ha’tehva is Gematria (numerically equal to) 86, the same as Elokim. [According to the Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria), Gematria expresses the back (externalness) of a word, i.e. the side of concealment (since its relation to other words is only by means of a mathematical correlation). The Hebrew word itself (the Holy Tongue) represents the inner level, the side of revelation.] Therefore, when a person attributes nature (Elokim) to Hakadosh Baruch Hu (Havaya), they thereby reveal the inner side (of nature) and thereby unite the two names of Havaya and Elokim.
According to this, we can understand the inner meaning of the (above) verse, “When you go out to war against your enemy, i.e. to apply the rulership of Holiness even into the area of Reshus, as Rashi explains that the verse refers to a war of Reshus, “Havaya Elokim will give them into your hand.” When you will be victorious, you will unite the two names Havaya and Elokim. The verse specifically uses the words “in your hands”, since a person’s hands symbolizes their free choice.