The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Fourteenth Commandment” (abridged)
247. The fourteenth Commandment is to observe Shabbat, which is a day of rest from all the actions of creation. There are two Commandments here: to observe the day of Shabbat and to adorn its holiness, namely to receive Ohr Hochma, called “holiness”; and to observe Shabbat as a day of rest for all the worlds, in which all actions are multiplied and realized even before this day is sanctified.
Shabbat is a state of the spiritual worlds where the Light descending from Above elevates ZA to AA, Nukva to AVI, the Worlds of BYA to YESHSUT, and ZON of the World of Atzilut. As a result, man’s NRN (whoever has it, whoever is spiritually present in the worlds of BYA) also ascends to Atzilut with the worlds of BYA, and there receives Ohr Haya.
248. Because that day was sanctified, the creation of bodiless spirits was to be completed. He asks: “Was the Creator unable to delay the sanctification of that day until the bodies for those spirits were created?” And he answers: “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil contained an evil side that wanted to govern the world. And many spirits separated and went forth, armed, to clothe in the bodies of this world.
249. However, as the Creator saw this, He roused the wind from within the Tree of Life, ZA, and struck the other Tree, Malchut. And the other, good side was awakened, and the day was sanctified. For the creation of bodies and the awakening of spirits on that night of Shabbat stem from the good side, and not from the evil one.
250. And had he hastened on that night to put forward the other side, before the good side came forward, he would not have been able to withstand it for even an instant. But the Creator provided the remedy in advance. And He sanctified the day beforehand. And He warned to appear before the other side. And the world exists. And that the opposite side thought to rule in the world, i.e., in defiance of it, the good side was created and strengthened on that night. And the good, holy bodies and spirits were created on that night from the good side. Therefore, the delight of sages who know this spans from Shabbat to Shabbat.
251. However, when the other (impure) side saw that what it had planned to do was already done by the holy side, it started to check its own forces and properties, and saw all those who perform a Zivug naked and in the candlelight. Therefore, all of the sons born from that Zivug are enslaved by the spirit of the other side. And these naked spirits of the wicked are called “harming,” and they are ruled and killed by Lilit.
252. And since the day was sanctified, and holiness rules in the world, the other side diminishes itself and hides on each Shabbat day and on each Shabbat night. With the exception of Asimon and his group, who walk secretly in the candlelight, to observe the naked Zivug. And then they hide inside the cave, called Tehom Raba (the great abyss). And as soon as Shabbat ends, many hosts fly and prowl in the world. As a result, everything is corrected by the song of the sufferers, “He who dwells in concealment,” to prevent impurity from governing holiness.
253. What places do they visit on the night of the end of Shabbat? When they come out in haste and wish to govern the holy nation, they see it standing in prayer and singing this song: “He who sits in the shadow (concealment) of the Supernal One,” first separating Shabbat from the weekdays in his prayer, and then over a cup of wine, these forces flee thence and fly away to the desert. May the Merciful One save us from them and from the evil side.
254. The three that cause evil to themselves: a) he who curses himself; b) he who throws away bread or bread crumbs bigger than an olive; c) he who lights the candle at the end of Shabbat before Israel attains sanctity in the prayer, “And You are holy.” And the light from that candle ignites hellfire.
255. There is a place in hell (the sensation of uncorrected desires, shame before the Creator) for those who transgress Shabbat (the ascent towards complete correction). And as they (those who feel that they are wicked) are punished in hell (separation from the Creator), they curse him who lit the candle before its time, and they say to him, “Behold: the Creator will thrust you about with a mighty throw, and He will seize you firmly. He will violently roll and toss you like a ball into a large land; there shall you die (be corrected against your will).”
256. For he should not light the candle at the end of Shabbat before Israel separates Shabbat from the weekdays in their prayer and over a cup of wine, as until that time, it is still Shabbat, and the sanctity of Shabbat still rules over us. And during the separation by means of blessing over a cup, all those hosts and legions that the rulers appointed to govern the weekdays return each to their place to resume the work for which they are responsible.
257. As soon as Shabbat starts and the day is sanctified, holiness awakens and rules over the world; the power of weekdays disappears and returns only when Shabbat ends. However, although Shabbat is over, other forces do not regain their power until Israel says the prayer, “He who separates holiness from the weekdays.” Only then does holiness disappear, and the legions that govern the weekdays awaken and return to their places, each to its above-appointed post.
258. Nevertheless, the impure forces do not assume control until the flame of the candle is lit, for they all come from the root (element) of fire, from which everything originates, and they descend to rule over the lower world. All this happens if one lights the candle before Israel has finished the blessing in the prayer.
259. Yet, if he waits until they complete the blessing, the wicked in hell justify the Creator’s justice over them, and they bring upon him all the blessings, recited by the congregation: “Therefore, the Creator gives you of the dew of Heaven,” “Blessed shall you be in your town,” and “Blessed shall you be in the field.”
260. “Blessed is he who considers the poor (who has attained the futility of trying to correct oneself on his own); the Creator will deliver him in the day of disaster.” What do the words “in the day of disaster” mean? This refers to the day when evil gains power and wants to take his soul away from him. The word “poor” alludes to someone very sick. “He who considers” refers to one who realizes the need to be cured from transgressions before the Creator. Another explanation is that this is the Day of Judgment in the world. “He who considers” signifies one who knows how to save himself from it, as it is written: “The Creator will deliver him in the day of disaster,” meaning that on the day when the judgment against man dominates the world, the Creator will deliver him.
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