Our Sages of blessed memory have taught us that כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה Kol Israel Aruvim Zeh BaZeh, ‘All Israel is interconnected one with another’ (Talmud, Shevuot 39a). What this interconnection means is that we all originate from the same source, that being a Source of benevolence associated with the glory of the Name Kel, which is the Shechina (Zohar 8a, Prologue). Moreover, the Ari”zal (Sha’ar HaPesukim, Lech Lecha), explains that: “Avraham personifies the attribute of chesed, which is signified by the Divine Name Kel, this being the mystical meaning of the verse, ‘The chesed of G-d [Kel] is all day long’ [Tehilim 52:3]”. This means that, the fact that the Name of G-d used in this verse is Kel indicates the association of this Name with chesed.
Now, it is interesting to note that the gematria ordinal (sofit version) of Kol Israel Aruvim Zeh BaZeh is 185. This is the same numeric value of the millui of the Name Kel: (alef-lamed- pei lamed-mem-dalet = [1 + 30 + 80] + [30 + 40 + 4] = 185).
The connection of Name Kel and Avraham, is further seem since “There are 8 Names Kel in the supernal faces of Arich Anpin [which is Keter, and corresponds to the psychological power of will]. All of these are contained within the name Avraham, whose numerical value is 248, the numerical value of these 8 Names” (Sha’ar HaPesukim, Chaye Sarah).
Kel: alef-lamed = 31. 31 x 8 = 248.
Avraham: alef-beit-reish-hei-mem = 1 + 2 + 200 + 5 + 40 = 248.
In this “face” of Arich Anpin, the source of the five states of chesed, are expressed 8 Names Kel whose numerical value is the same as that of Avraham, who personifies this level.
Furthermore, I noticed that the mispar Siduri/ordinal (174) + mispar Katan/reduced (57) + 17 letters (from Kol Israel Aruvim Zeh BaZeh) = 248. This is a poweful connection. And that the gematria atbash is 1495. This is the sum of all values from alef to tav. Alef-tav spells “Et“, the Zohar’s codename for the Shechina. And the complete span of the alef-beit indicating Her divine speech that vitalizes all of creation. In fact, the Shechina is the root of all neshamot, as it is known.
As chazal teachs us, the Jewish People are rooted in chesed, which we see is a direct link to Avraham avinu and mystically, the inner realms of the Shechina. Our people’s interconnections have enormous significance for our own and for the world at large, whereas the most important is the way each and every jew does affect the other spiritually. Hence, the need for Ahavat Israel as the means to preserve the “body” of Israel whole and intact, holy e focused on its evolutionary path culminating on Mashiach, speedily in our days.
On Sushan Purim 5774
It is important to understand that the halachot in general, and the ones guiding the couple’s sexuality in particular, are even more stringent and deep when treated with the benefit of the hiddurim (the various embellishments) of Kabbalah. The ‘ideal’ moment for the couple with a true Jewish soul to be united is on the night of Shabbat, for on this time, “thene shamot are distributed for the initiated on the mystical Wisdom [i.e., the Bnei Torah]… On this night, a holy and sublime ruach descends to those who are ‘sanctified’ [in order to fulfill the mitzvah of procreation, saying the prayers before the act, ‘both’ ritually washing their hands and giving tzedaka]… Thus, for these men of wisdom, the appropriate time for this ‘holy function’ is when this exalted ruach is diffused amongst them… And it is in this manner [and in this time] that the tzaddikim ‘transmit’ their holy souls for the new conception” (Zohar 204b, Vayak’hel). Al pi halacha, “all nights are appropriate, in particular if the act occurs at midnight [when the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoices with the tzaddikim in the Gan Eden]… However, [it is important to know that] on the other nights, ‘another’ type of ruach hovers” (ibid. Zohar). This means that, “the joy of fulfilling this mitzvah is complete on the nights of Shabbat, when the person does not need to worry if there are any admixtures from the sitra achra in the conception” (ibid. Zohar). On the other nights (save on those prescribed by the halacha) it is possible that instead of simple joy for the mitzvah, there is also “the deliberate desire and awakening for the simple pleasure to give in to lust, to wit, without the real ‘need‘ to fulfill this holy act. This means that he is only following the advice and force of his yetzer hara” (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Hilchot Tsiniut), which is vitalized, after all, by the sitra achra.
The Talmud explains (see Nedarim 20a-b) that, ‘different actions’ during the marital intercourse determine important physical and spiritual aspects from the soul that will, G-d willing, descent for the child’s body. The Tanna Rabi Yohanan ben Dahabai – who mystically explains having received knowledge on these subjects through the agency of angels – says in this tractate that, in accordance of “certain” sexual acts, children may be born “dumb, deaf, or blind”! Moreover, there are also effects caused strictly through the ‘time’ when the union occurs. Thus, Kabbalah affirms that: “Truly, there is that which is a ‘proper time’ for marital intercourse… and no other time is appropriate for this junction to be performed with all joy without any ‘extraneous admixture’ [i.e., the chitzonim] save that night [i.e., Shabbat. See Talmud, Ketubot 62b] – when the souls are distributed to the wise, the righteous, and the pious” (Zohar 204b, Vaya’khel). We see then that actions and distinct times in the fulfillment of the mitzvah (of marital union) can afect the soul that is to come. Moreover, through kavanot, the parents may spiritually elevate themselves to infinite heights and greatly impact this soul!
Regarding the subject that the ‘the parents may spiritually elevate themselves etc.’, as it is known, the ‘sexual energy’ (the physical form of the spiritual energy) is an extremely pure energy and must be care for and not wasted due to its fundamental role. As it has been explained, it allows – in accordance to the degree of purity it is used – great ascensions or great falls, chaz v’shalom. As it is written: Vehineh sulam mutsav artsah verosho magia hashamaymah vehineh mal’achei Elokim olim veyoredim bo, “Behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of G-d ascending and descending on it” (Bereshit 28:12). On this pasuk, Kabbalah explains (see Zohar 149b, Vayetze) that, “The ladder signifies the spiritual attribute of Yesod [connected to sexual subjects]. To Ya’acov avinu, it was shown that this attribute exists on earth – it literally belongs to ‘mundane subjects’, however, the ‘top of it reached to heaven’ – to wit, when the person heeds to the Divine will and raises this attribute to its origin, then he truly reaches heaven… and ‘this is alluded in thesecret of the pasuk, Mi ya’aleh lanu hashamaymah, Who shall go up for us to heaven [Devarim 30:12]. The initial letters, the Reshei Tevot of this, spell out the word milah [circumcision], and the final letters, the Sofei Tevot, spell out Havaya’ [Tikkunei Zohar 2a] – this means that the person can ascend on high if he purifies this attribute” (the Slonnimer Rebbe, Netivot Shalom).
Regarding the subject of ‘greatly impact this soul’, beyond of has been already considered, it is important to comprehend something of the kavanot during the sexual union. It is very important that these unions be fulfilled in complete joy and happiness. Every mitzvah must be done with great joy, but this one, even more so. It is also important that the married couple, “both should have the same kavanah” (Zohar 81a, Kedoshim; see ibid. 83b for the contrary): to bring down to this level a noble soul, with yirat shamayim (fear of Heaven), a soul that will illuminate the world, to wit, a tzaddik. Hence, it is good to bring to mind a tzaddik on the moment of procreation (see Ramban, Iggeret HaKodesh; R’ Eliyahu de Vidas, Reshit Chochmah, Sha’ar HaKedusha 16). Furthermore, “it is necessary to know that, a child born from the predominant desire from the husband [to have a child, as have been described], receives an ‘extra’ vitality from the father, for this desire means the father’s wish ‘to connect to the Etz Chayim’” (Zohar 209a, Vayigash) in the secret of “She is a Etz Chayim to those who lay hold on her; and happy is every one who holds her fast” (Mishlei 3:18). It is also known that, “‘If the woman emits her semen first she bears a male child; if the man emits his semen first she bears a female child’ [Talmud, Niddah 31a]… Now, he who emits seed last is the one who prevails [i.e., something of his strength]… so the man [who wishes to have a male child] becomes cold, so as to not become heated [during the act], and in this manner the woman is heated [giving seed] before. Afterwards, he is the last to emit seed [thus ensuring that child’s vitality, as explained]. However, many who have followed this did not succed, for all is [baruch Hashem, and thus,] in the Divine will” (Rabi Yehudah Fatiyah, Minchat Yehudah, Parashat Shmuel I, Siman Bet, Ayin Tet, pg. 118). In any case, the person must sanctify himself at the time of marital relations, for all comes from merit. And let him pray throughout the first 40 days of conception: Yehi ra’avah mi’maarei alma shenizke lebanim yierim ushlemim va’chareidim lidvar Hashem venire’eh bachem kedushat tanaim ve’amoraim amen, “May it be the will of the Master of the Universe that we merit G-d fearing and flawless sons who tremble at the word of Hashem. And may we observe in them the sanctity of the Sages of the Mishnah and Talmud. Amen” (Rabi Tzvi Hirsch Kaidenover, Kav HaYashar, Perek Yud Zayin).