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Notes on Revelation

Going down for the sake of going up
(yeridah tzorech aliyah)

19 Adar, 5762
March 3, 2002

(I found the following info very interesting when looked at from the standpoint that Jesus left his home and came down to earth for our sake, so that we could go up.—Moza)
Excerpts from:
Mon, 14 Jan 2002
Rabbi Pinchas Winston
Perceptions - Parashas Bo: The HoneyMOON Begins

Imagine a classroom made up of two levels of students, one group being made up of "A-students" and one group made up of "C-students." The natural tendency of the A-students will be to associate with one another only, and form their own exclusive group. This, of course, will be to the detriment of the lower-grade group which, lacking an example of excellence will most likely under-achieve in school.

The teacher, however, finds the situation unacceptable knowing that the C-students are capable of achieving much more if motivated by a good example. Therefore, in order to rectify the situation he decides to approach an A-student and request that he associate with the C-students in order to motivate and inspire them.

There will be resistance for sure on the part of the A-student, who can only see it as everything but beneficial for himself. However, being the loyal student that he is, he accepts his teacher's recommendation and moves his desk and life to the side of the C-students'. He knows that he can never really feel that comfortable with the shift, and that at times he might even feel "violated" to some degree.

Nevertheless, it is a sacrifice imposed upon him for the betterment of the society for which the world was ultimately created, though he yearns for the day that he can be amongst his own - that all of the students can be amongst his own. In the meantime, it is his job to make it work, and that is what he intends to do while in the situation he has found himself.

What does this have to do with the moon and the Jewish people you are asking? Everything! All we have to do is put all the proper characters into their corresponding roles in the analogy, and we will begin to understand two of the deepest and most profound concepts in the Zohar HaKodesh: Mi-ute HaLavanah and Shechinah b'Golus - the reduction of the moon's light and the exile of the Divine Presence - in the next d'var Torah.


". . . It will be the first month of the year for you." (Shemos 12:2)

There is a concept in Torah called, "yeridah tzorech aliyah" - a going down that is for the sake of going up. It is one of those phenomenon in life that is so universal that all societies seem to have taken note of it and have described it in their own terms.

It is not that a person should intentionally allow himself to spiritually fall with the intention of getting up again and growing higher. It often doesn't work when we plan it that way; too many people in such a predicament end up staying down.

However, when the yeridah is unintentional, thrust upon us by one circumstance or another, then it can end up having a positive outcome. It can be like two friends or even spouses who have a rift, but who become even closer after resolving it.

Nowhere is this concept more true than by the Malchus of Atzilus.

The Malchus of what?

The Malchus of ATZILUS.

What's an Atzilus? What's a Malchus?

The Malchus of Atzilus is just one of the many spiritual levels - the tenth one in the spiritual realm called "Atzilus" - that separates man from G-d for our own good. This is because the light of "Ain Sof" (Without End), the name we give the light of G-d, is so spiritually overwhelming that physical man could never withstand exposure to it in its pure or even close-to-pure form.

Therefore, G-d put into place different levels of spiritual "filters" to reduce the light as it emanates from Ain Sof to man, without which life could not go on - not even for a nanosecond. The Malchus of Atzilus is one such level within a very elaborate system of spiritual filters designed to allow the light of G-d to come down according to the needs of creation, man, and history.

However, as one would suspect, the higher up one spiritually climbs, the holier the levels become. In fact, at some point, the levels of light must become so holy that evil can no longer exist and everything must be, by definition, G-dly. Indeed, there must even be a point in the spiritual realm at which the INTRINSIC G-dliness ceases to manifest itself for all intents-and-purposes. That point is called the Malchus of Atzilus.

Seeing that the Malchus of Atzilus is the hand-off point for the light of G-d to the lower, lesser G-dly worlds within which we live at this stage of history - light without which we would cease to exist - it is "Her" light that is said to have left its Heavenly Abode and descended completely for the benefit of the lower worlds. She went down so that we can go up.

However, we can't go up unless it is with her light, and one of the main points of all that we do in life is to cause her light to return to its rightful place in the sublime and G-dly spiritual world of Atzilus. When we learn Torah, do mitzvos and perform good deeds, we spiritually buoy the light of the Malchus of Atzilus upwards towards its ultimate place Above.

We'll know when we've done this because the world will simply become a better and more spiritual place; evil will go up like smoke.

What about the moon in all of this? The light of the Malchus of Atzilus is considered Kabbalistically, to be the spiritual source of the light of the moon. The fact that it had to emanate down into the lower worlds all the way from the beginning of creation is called "Mi-ute Halavanah" - the reduction of the moon's light, the real story behind that Midrash.

Thus, there really was no better time to deliver the mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh - the Sanctification of the New Moon - to the Jewish nation, a nation that is compared to the moon, which is compared to the light of the Malchus of Atzilus. Rectify one of them, and you rectify them all, and bring ALL of creation to fulfillment.


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