Monday, October 22, 2012

The Days of Sarah's Life

The following is an initial attempt to translate a teaching of the Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch (2nd Chabad Rebbe) on the Torah portion of "The Days of Sarah's Life": 

And these are the days of Sarah's life: one hundred year and twenty year and seven years - years of Sarah’s life. The details are explained in the Zohar why the singular term “year” is used to describe one hundred years and twenty years, while the plural terms “years” is used to describe seven years. Also, the redundancy of the phrase years of Sarah’s life needs to be explained.

Its known that single digits are used describe kingdom, tens are used to describe small face and supernal father and mother, hundreds are used to describe the crown. If so, one hundred years signifies a reference to the ten sefirot of crown, for each sefira includes ten sefirot, equaling one hundred. This is part of why one hundred blessings are recited daily.

If you’ll ask, “What is this hundred years…?”

It’s because these hundreds signify crown, the tens signify the character traits of small face who receive from the supernal father and mother, which are twenty years and the single digits signify kingdom. Hence, the scripture states “seven years …” [Since, Sarah’s years refer to the whole system of ten sefirot, it symbolizes that she attained completion.]

Now understanding all this first requires an initial explanation of what G*d told Abraham, “Listen to everything that Sarah tells you.” This is incredibly surprising! Since when does G*d command the giver to obey the receiver, as in Abraham listening to Sarah? Does it not state, “He shall rule you”?

That which Rashi comments in trying to answer this question that Abraham was commanded to listen to Sarah was because Sarah was a greater prophet than Abraham is itself a question. Since when is the prophetic level of the receiver greater than the prophecy of giver? It’s known that the spiritual root Abraham and Sarah in the higher realms are the divine names of Mah and Ban (or Ben) in the spiritual world of Atzilut, i.e. the repairing and the damaged forces of the first and highest realm to experience the imperfection of rupture. How can the level of Ban, the damaged forces receiving repair, be higher than the level of Mah, the forces which are bestowing the repair?

Briefly, an answer is known from our sages of blessed memory, (Baba Bathra 16:2) that G*d granted the three patriarchs a real foretaste of the future perfected world. This accords with what’s written, “And G*d blessed Abraham with all”, “and from all”. From here it is known and intimated that both the patriarchs and matriarchs had a foretaste of the future perfected world, which comes after purifying the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Then the divine name Ban will have completed her elevation and transformed into the name Sag, which is even higher than the name Mah, which did the elevating [by repairing Ban]. It is known that this future elevated state is referred to in scripture as, “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband” and “A woman will court a man”.

Therefore, based on the above information the question is already answered. Even though concerning our times it says,”And your passion will be towards your man”, which is the feminine name Ban which receives from the masculine name Mah, this is only because now the male is the main focus. That’s why the scripture says, “And he’ll rule over you.”, as Mah is bestows on Ban. However, in the perfected future it will be that “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband”. Then the name Ban will be higher than the name Mah.

Therefore, G*d said to Abraham, who was already in a state of the perfected future, i.e. the world which will arrive after the name Ban is purified rendering Sarah higher than her Abrahamic Mah bestower, “Listen with special attention to all that Sarah tells you … especially, with regards to what Sarah told you to send away this handmaiden and her son.” (Allow this explanation to suffice for those who understand.)

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