Thursday, December 19, 2013

The 10 Martyrs of Malchut

Legs and the 10 Martyrs

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Five, Section 7

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Legs and the 10 Martyrs
The martyrs paved the way for us
It is possible for the Nefesh, Ruach, or Neshama of a person to elevate its sparks that were immersed in the depths of the kelipot. They will be rectified through him, like what was explained concerning the deaths of the Ten Political Martyrs. See there.
To comprehend what is being said here it is necessary to understand the kabbalistic explanation of the Ten Political Martyrs. Following is a brief summary of what was taught in Sections 5 - 6.
The Ten Political Martyrs are called, literally, the Ten Martyrs of malchut. Their souls ascended to malchut of Atzilut, which is called the Shechina. Because of their ascent it became possible, even in these later generations when spiritual power is severely diminished, to complete the rectification of the sparks that are supposed to be raised from the kelipot to the malchut of Atzilut.
Historically, the time of the Ten Political Martyrs was the time of the destruction of the Second Temple. The rule of the Romans over the Land of Israel and the Jewish People was at its height. The oppression was great, violence was ubiquitous, and sin was extremely prevalent. At that time the Romans grabbed ten leaders of Israel and condemned them to death, hoping in this way to forever eliminate Israel as an independent identity, G-d forbid. The Ten Martyrs were cruelly tortured and murdered. Their martyrdom is commemorated during the prayers of Yom Kippur, and it is praiseworthy to weep over them at that time. Now, the words of the Ari (Etz Chaim 39:1, p.2:132b) will continue the description of those times from the kabbalistic point of view.
The time of the Ten Political Martyrs was the time of the destruction of the Second Temple. At that time sin was so prevalent that people did not have the power to purify the sparks through prayer and to raise them up in the secret of ma'n.
Whenever the sparks are rectified through our Torah, mitzvot and prayer, they ascend to the malchut of Atzilut, where they are refurbished into rectified partzufim that emanate blessing and knowledge until our world is penetrated by those good things. The beginning of this process is called the raising up of mayin nukvin [female waters, abbreviated as ma'n], and it has already been discussed somewhat in Chapter Three, Section 8.
It was as if the world had no more purpose At the time of the Ten Martyrs and the destruction of the Temple, the people did not have the power to raise ma'n. It was as if the world had no more purpose. It certainly could not continue to endure if the purpose of Torah, mitzvot, and prayer could not be accomplished.
Moreover, even the ma'n of bina descended downward and got mixed up once again among the kelipot, as it is written, "For your sins your Mother was sent away" (Isaiah 50:1).
The ma'n of bina-Imma [Mother], moreover, does not normally descend to the lower realms among the kelipot. Therefore, we do not need to raise them from the kelipot back to the world of Atzilut. That this ma'n began to descend into the realm of the kelipot was another indication that the world was on the edge of destruction.
The physical sufferings of the Ten Martyrs...made possible...the raising of ma'n… The holy Zohar says, furthermore, that the souls of these extraordinary tzadikim were totally pure, but their bodies were given over to the Evil Side. The Ari explains that the physical sufferings endured by the Ten Martyrs at the hands of the evil torturers made possible, once again, the raising of ma'n through prayer, mitzvot and Torah. In this way the world was saved.
In addition, in Chapter 36 the Ari will explain that the physical sacrifice of the Ten Martyrs gives hope and inspiration to all the later generations. Also, because of them it is possible for all the later generations to raise ma'n. If they, through the sacrifice of their lives and the physical suffering that they endured had not opened the way for our tikunim to ascend to the Shechina, then we in these later generations would be without hope because of the intense levels of impurity from which our souls must ascend.
Malchut of Atzilut is called the Shechina. She is exiled from the world of Atzilut to descend among the kelipot in the lower realms.
In the lower realms she is covered by the souls of the soul body of Adam that have also been exiled into the realm of the kelipot.
Throughout the lower realms are strewn sparks that belong to the souls of the soul body of Adam who cover the Shechina exiled into the realm of the kelipot.
When we pray, study Torah and perform mitzvot, then we release the sparks from the kelipot and they ascend to malchut of Atzilut. She receives them and returns with them to the world of Atzilut. This ascent is called Female Waters [ma'n]. When they reach the world of Atzilut they become the germs to draw down illumination from above. At this point they are comparable to the female zygote.
The ability of the various levels of soul to rectify their corresponding sparks is enhanced by the interconnectedness of souls who give and receive assistance from each other.
In these later generations, because of their diminished spiritual power, rectification would be entirely impossible if it were not for the assistance consequent upon the interconnectedness of the souls.
When the spiritual level descends so low that the world is on the verge of destruction, then physical sacrifice can restore spiritual power. The classic expression of this phenomenon was the Ten Martyrs of malchut.
[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]
By Rabbi Yitzchak Luria as recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital; translation from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim; commentary by Shabtai Teicher
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Shabtai Teicher, a descendant of the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe Reshab, was born in Brooklyn in 1946 and settled in Jerusalem in 1970. He studied for over 7 years with one of the outstanding and renowned kabbalists of our generation, Rabbi Mordechai Attieh, and has also studied deeply in various other fields of Jewish scholarship. He is a specialist in Lurianic Kabbala, edited and annotated the first eleven chapters of our English rendition of "Shaar HaGilgulim," and completed his manuscripts for "Zohar: Old Man in the Sea," in both Hebrew and English, shortly before his unfortunate passing in November 2009.

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