[Rabbi Shimon discusses the verse:] "For thus says G‑d: To the eunuchs [who keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and adhere to my covenant]" (Isaiah 56:4) [and asks:] who are these "eunuchs"? These are the Colleagues who study Torah and "castrate" [i.e. restrain] themselves [from their wives] during the six days of the week [even if their lust is great]. And on Shabbat night they hasten to have their conjugal union [even if they feel tired] for they know the supernal secret of the right time when the Matron [Shechinah] unites with the King. Those colleagues who know this secret concentrate their hearts on the Faith of their Master [for their union below in holiness and modesty arouses the supernal union Above] and [in this merit, they] are blessed with [holy] offspring on that night [if their wives are not yet pregnant or nursing a newborn].

Therefore, it is written: "That you shall 'keep' My Shabbatot," (Ibid.) [the word "keep" can mean "expect and wait"] as in the verse: "But his father (Yaakov) kept the matter (of Yosef’s dream) in mind". (Gen. 37:11) They are certainly called "eunuchs" because they [restrict themselves and] wait for the Shabbat in order to parallel the will of their Master , as it is written: "and choose that which I desire", meaning His union with the Shechinah. [Their purity of action below strengthens the Supernal Covenant and empowers its union.] "And strengthen My Covenant" means the same as, "My Covenant" [without the words "and strengthen"; this hints to the Master uniting with the Shechinah]. Happy is the man who is sanctified in this Holiness and knows this secret.

Come and see: in the verse, "Six days shall you labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat to the L-rd your G‑d", (Ex. 20:9) the words "all your work" indicate that in those six days man works [on the physical level] and therefore those who study the Torah have their conjugal union only at a time when they do not work, but when G‑d "works" [in the spiritual realms]. His work then is His union with the Shechinah in order to bring holy souls forth into the world. [Souls brought down by union during the week days are governed by the lower levels of spirituality manifest during the work day week – including a more obvious yetzer hara/evil inclination. This is not so of those souls brought down through union on the Holy Shabbat, their influence is from the Holy union].

Therefore, the companions sanctify themselves on this night in the Holiness of their Master and concentrate their hearts, and beget good and holy children who turn neither to the right nor to the left [away from the Torah], children of the King and the Queen. Of them it is written: "You are the children of the L-rd your G‑d". (Deut. 14:1) Assuredly, of "the L-rd your G‑d," for they are called "His children," the children of the King and the Matron.

Those who study the Torah know this secret and cling to it, therefore they are called 'the children of G‑d', and the world is sustained by their merit. And when the world is placed on trial, G‑d looks at these of His children [who are pure and good, unlike those who are more governed by their evil inclination, having been created in the secular days of the week] and has mercy on the world. Therefore, it is written: "an entirely true seed". (Jeremiah 2:21) It is a "true seed," indeed [without the admixture of falsehood that stems from the "other side" that has power during the week causing those born under the influence of that power to fall easily in line with it].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

What is below is above, and what is above is below; this is a basic Zoharic principle. The Zohar is fond of promoting peace through union between husband and wife on Friday night because in the heavens above, special things transpire, especially after Halachic midnight (12 hours after midday). This is not to say that marital relations during the week do not also promote a supernal unity; rather the highest level of all is set for Friday night.

This also has the practical benefit of insuring that during the busy week when a couple is too busy and frankly too tired to connect, that at least one time weekly on the Holy Shabbat, their bonding is promoted. What wisdom! What advice! What a religion we have that promotes harmony at home by recommending sexual intimacy between married folks!

What does this mean to you and why is it revealed now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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