Another explanation of "And he said" ['Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel] has the same meaning as "and He said, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the L‑rd your G‑d". (Ex. 15:26) Here too "And he said" means [the Shechinah said]: "Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel." Then Jacob was crowned by his level by which he will include all the forefathers [for Jacob stood for tiferet, which is the middle line that includes chesed and also harmonizes the chesed of Abraham with the gevura of Isaac; and after Sam-kel (the angel of Esau) saw that Jacob was crowned with this supernal level] it is written, "And he blessed him there". (Gen. 32:30) It means that he acknowledged all the blessings with which his father blessed him.

...assuredly man has two angels, who are messengers that join him from Above.

Rabbi Shimon opened, "When a man's ways please G‑d, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (Proverbs 16:7) Come and see! Man has much to do if he wants to improve his behavior toward G‑d by keeping the precepts of the Torah. For we have learned that assuredly man has two angels, who are messengers that join him from Above. One is on his right and the other on his left. They observe man in everything he does. They are called 'the Good Inclination' and 'the Evil Inclination'.

When a man wishes to be purified and strives to observe the commandments of the Torah, the Good Inclination that joined him overpowers the Evil Inclination and makes peace with it. As a result, the Evil Inclination becomes a slave to the Good Inclination. When a man wishes to be defiled, the Evil Inclination is strengthened and overpowers the Good Inclination. This has already been explained.

Assuredly, when man wishes to be purified, he has much to overcome. When the Good Inclination is strengthened, then "He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him", for the Evil Inclination is submissive to the Good Inclination. Of this Solomon said: "Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and has a servant". (Proverbs 12:9) The servant is the Evil Inclination. When a man walks by the commandments of the Torah, "he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him," including the Evil Inclination and its escorts.

Come and see! Because Jacob put his trust in G‑d and all that he did was for His sake, his enemies made peace with him. In particular, Sam-kel, who is the strength and might of Esau, made peace with Jacob. Because Sam-kel made peace with Jacob and acknowledged all his blessings, Esau made peace with Jacob. [G‑d sent his messenger, the minister of Esau to Jacob to make peace.] As long as Jacob did not make peace with Sam-kel, the minister in charge of Esau, then Esau would not have made peace with him. This is because strength Below always depends on strength Above. As long as the strength of the ministers in charge over them is not weakened Above, it is not possible to weaken the strength in this world.

...strength Below always depends on strength Above.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this and what are they teaching us here?

Is there really a tiny angel wearing white and carrying a harp whispering into our right ear, and a tiny devil wearing red and carrying a pitchfork whispering into our left ear?!

No, but this analogy from the cartoon world is not a bad parable for the Above Zohar. Maybe the task of tasks is making peace Below in ourselves. Not to ignore and banish the desire to do wrong, but rather to acknowledge it fully, bring it into the conversation, and let it know that it cannot control thought, word, or deed.

Because it has a Holy source. Read that again. It has a Holy source. G‑d put the desire in us, which at root is a desire to connect and to serve G‑d, as any messenger must fulfill the will of his sender.

If we trust that all is for the good, if we can know in our heart of hearts that G‑d is our personal friend and guide, we too can Osay Shalom Bimromav -- make peace Above, which will translate to peace Below.

So too may we have the merit of Jacob, the Ish Tam, the simple and pure man, who knew how to bring right and left together and to walk the straight path in this earth plane.


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.