Contact Us
To release the holy spark, the encumbering shell of evil must be removed

The Other Side

The Other Side

Beginner Beginner
 Email
The Other Side
To release the holy spark, the encumbering shell of evil must be removed

Evil and impurity are often referred to in the Zohar as "the other side" [sitra achra], meaning the side distinct from, and opposed to, holiness. Evil is also referred to as kelipa, meaning literally "shell" or "bark". The kelipa conceals within it a spark of holiness, which is the vital force by virtue of which the kelipa exists, analogous to a fruit surrounded by a shell or peel. In order to release the holy spark the encumbering shell must be removed.

The fourth level envelops the spark of holiness

The Zohar distinguishes among four kelipot, three of which are entirely evil. The fourth, kelipat noga, is the shell which actually envelops the spark of holiness. It thus has direct contact with holiness and is not entirely evil. The other three kelipot surround kelipat noga and are therefore further removed from holiness.

All matters pertaining to the prohibitions of the Torah (the forbidden objects, actions, utterances, thoughts, etc.) derive from the sitra achra, from the three impure kelipot. Those matters which are permitted by the Torah (but do not pertain in a direct manner to the commandments of the Torah) derive from kelipat noga.

[From the "Fiftieth Gate" edition of the Zohar, Introduction]

Rabbi Moshe Miller was born in South Africa and received his yeshivah education in Israel and America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty books to his name on a wide variety of topics, including an authoritative, annotated translation of the Zohar. He has developed a coaching-type approach to dealing with life's issues based on Chassidism and Kabbalah—a tool for dealing with normal issues that everyone faces as well as issues psychologists usually address, often ineffectively. He also gives free live classes over the Internet.
The Zohar is a basic work of Kabbalah authored by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his students (2nd century CE). English translation of annotated selections by Rabbi Moshe Miller (Morristown, N.J.: Fiftieth Gate Publications, 2000) includes a detailed introduction covering the history and basic concepts of Kabbalah. Volume 1 (36 pp.) covers the first half of the first of the original’s three volumes. It is available online from our store, KabbalaOnline Shop.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Start a Discussion
1000 characters remaining
Related Topics

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.