The Zohar/Rav Brandwein Writings
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Parshas Acharei Mos – Kedoshim 5764
Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Yerushalayim (in translation)
In the beginning of the Parsha, it is written about the service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur, that he would place lots on the two goats. One was a lot for Hashem and the other was the goat to Azazel, [the name of the mountain, off of which they would throw the goat, and it would atone for the sins of the Nation of Israel].
The name Yom Kippur is because of two reasons. First, that on this day the sins of the Bnei Yisroel would be “atoned” (Kippur). The second reason comes from the term lots, “like Purim” (Kippurim), since they would place lots (like a note) and the priest would draw the lot, upon which was written either the goat for Hashem or to Azazel.
According to the Holy Zohar, the goat, which was designated to atone for the sins of the Nation of Israel, was also a portion given for the purpose of appeasing the Sitra Achora, in order that it will be still and not interfere with Holiness. There are two significances in this. Firstly, all drawing down of lights of Chochmah is (accomplished) specifically through a great desire to receive, which is the aspect of the left line (of Sefiros, which eventually leads to the Sitra Achora). Since Holiness is just the desire to emanate, consequently this is the aspect of the goat, which is just for Hashem. However, it is known that the drawing down of lights is only possible through great vessels to receive, therefore, in Holiness, after they draw down the great lights, they receive them by way of the middle line, which enclothes the these lights in the Chesseds of the right line. So, the Sitra Achora’s role is to just draw down the light, but not to make use of it, except by way of Chesseds, which is the aspect of emanating. However, in the meantime, the Sitra Achora also benefits from the receiving of these lights, but this benefit causes them great Din (harshness) since they are not using the lights according to the way of Holiness. For example, a revelation of lights which cause destruction and harm in the world, instead of using the lights for positive things. So too, we have already explained that it is impossible for a person to say that they do not want to benefit at all for themselves, but that it all should be for Hashem. This is not in the ability of man, since the essential nature of man is the desire to receive. This is what is written in the second Parsha, Kedoshim, “Be holy, since I Hashem am holy.” Rashi says, “One might think that I will be like Hashem?” Therefore it says, “I am Hashem,” that My Holiness is above your holiness. This means that only Hashem does not have the desire to receive for Himself and He exclusively just emanates. However, the created being is obligated to also benefit itself, which means to receive the necessary amounts, like eating, drinking, and sleeping for Hashem. The same thing with regards to learning Torah, even if one enjoys the learning, it is permissible and desirable, for this gives the motivation to learn. This is the meaning of “One could think they could be like Me?” This means to say, “You cannot be only an emanator, without receiving anything for yourself, for this is only Hakadosh Baruch Hu. This is the portion which we give to the Sitra Achora, which is within all people, for otherwise, Holiness could not continue to exist. This is, “Be Holy”. This means that besides what is necessary (for you), emanate what you have obtained to others, except for what is necessary for you. For if you desire to emanate without receiving at all, this is not within your ability, since the essence of a created being is the desire to receive. Therefore, “You cannot be like Me.”