[To read Part 2: The Butcher in the Throat, click here.]

This is the mystical meaning of the verse "G‑d prepared a kikayon - plant, and it rose up over Jonah to give shade upon his head": (Jonah 4:6) the Book of Jonah [allegorically] describes the [descent of] soul [into the body], and in fact we see that the numerical value of the word "Yonah" [= 71] is 45 plus the numerical value of the name Havayah [26].

"Yonah" is spelled: yud-vav-nun-hei = 10 + 6 + 50 + 5 = 71.

26 + 45 = 71.

The text does not explain at this point what the significance of the number 45 is in this context.

To explain: [The soul of] a person comprises its "image" ["tzelem"] and its Nefesh-Ruach-Neshama [NR"N].

As we know, the soul comprises 5 levels: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida. The latter two are the soul's "image". In short, the Nefesh is the animating soul that enlivens the body. The Ruach is the emotions. The Neshama is the intellect. The Chaya is the will. The Yechida is the divine spark.

The "image" enters [the body] at conception. As is explained in the (Zohar III:43a, 104b) would the mother and father merit, they would be able to see [their child's "image"] when they copulate [and conceive the child], the Nefesh when it is born, the Ruach when it turns thirteen, and the Neshama when it turns twenty.

Jonah - that is, the soul - descends [from its source], enters Zeir Anpin, descends via his spinal cord, enters his body (symbolized by the ship) and from there descends to the thighs, represented by the lower parts of the ship.

The child's father is the earthly representative of Zeir Anpin; his mother is the earthly representative of Nukva. The soul's journey through his future father is the process by which the spiritual soul becomes invested in the physical seed.

The idiom in Hebrew for "the lower parts" of the ship is "the thighs" of the ship.

Then it meets the large fish, signifying yesod, which swallows it up, and from there, it is given to the female. The three days and three nights Jonah was inside the fish correspond to the three days it takes for the male seed to be properly absorbed [into the womb].

This [feminine] "shadow" [mentioned above] is strength, meaning the states of gevura, as we have explained. [These states of gevura] guard [the soul] from harm. For opposite this "shadow" there is an evil "shadow".

In this context, the two "doors" (120 permutations of the name Elokim) sealing off Nukva and protecting it from evil would perhaps correspond anatomically to the cervix or the labia minora. The evil female "shadow" refers perhaps to the feminine evil forces that seek to appropriate male seed for themselves. The traditional amulets and inscriptions placed around women in and after childbirth are intended to ward off these evil forces by identifying the woman and her child as allied with holiness.

This explains the statement in the Zohar that "the more [the name Havayah] extends the better," (Zohar II:96a) for it always remains holy. But this is not the case with the states of gevura [of the name Elokim], for the limit of holiness is the final of these 120 [permutations] of the name Elokim. From that point on is the realm of evil, called "other gods" [in Hebrew, "Elokim acheirim"]. They are called "other" ["acheirim"] because they derive their sustenance from the back [in Hebrew called "achoraiyim"].

A certain amount of gevura, of constriction, is necessary in order for the world to exist in its finite form. However, if the force of contraction is allowed to progress beyond its proper limit, the divine energy becomes so limited that even evil can derive sustenance from it.

As we have explained previously, it is especially crucial to guard the female principle from this tendency toward excessive contraction and limitation. Due to its drive to actualize divinity in the material world, the female principle may overestimate the need to allow worldliness to exist. This is an open invitation for the forces of evil to stake their claim.

Shem personified chesed, Ham personified gevura, and Japheth personified tiferet….

We can now explain the verse. For Ham, the father of Egypt (Gen. 10:6), embodied the power of the [five] states of gevura. Shem personified chesed, Ham personified gevura, and Japheth personified tiferet. That is why [the latter] is called "Japeth" ["yafet", meaning "beautiful"], for [tiferet] is a blend of the two colors white and red.

Shem, Ham, and Japheth were the three sons of Noah. The name "Ham" [in Hebrew, "Cham"] means "hot"; hence the association with gevura. Egypt is thus also associated with gevura.

Now, when the 5 letters [of the name Elokim] produce 120 permutations, each letter produces 24. Thus, Ham took the power of 2 letters, which produce 48 permutations. That is why he was called Ham ["Cham", the numerical value of which is 48].

120 / 5 = 24. Thus, each letter of the name Elokim may be considered to be associated with 24 of its permutations.

"Cham is spelled: chet-mem = 8 + 40 = 48.

Ham, we just said, is associated with gevura, which in turn is signified by the name Elokim. Since the numerical value of Ham's name is 48, he may be considered to be associated with 48 of the permutations of the name Elokim. Since each letter of the name produces 24 permutations, Ham may be considered to be associated with 2 of the 5 letters of the name Elokim.

In a similar way, we can understand what is written of Rebecca: "and her pitcher was on her shoulder" (Gen. 24:15). She was holding one letter of the 5 states of gevura, i.e. one letter of the name Elokim.

The numerical value of the word for "pitcher", "kad", is also 24.

This is the mystical meaning of the verse "Let not the lowly return embarrassed" (Psalms 74:21), the initials of which spell the name Ado-nai, which signifies malchut, which takes 24 units from the name Elokim.

"Let not the lowly return embarrassed" in Hebrew is" "Al yashov dach nichlam". The needy "lowly one" is malchut, "who possesses nothing of her own" (Zohar II:215a) but owes all her contents to the sefirot above her. The numerical value of the word for "lowly one" [in Hebrew, "dach"] is also 24.

Rebecca also signifies malchut. These verses thus describes how malchut is constructed out of one of the five states of gevura originating in the name Elokim.

Thus Ham, the source of the states of gevura, produced the 5 states of gevura. These are 4 sons, for 3 states of gevura are sweetened and can therefore combine with 3 states of chesed. The other 2 cannot be sweetened. Similarly, when they were born, it was after this fashion, 3 [sons] matched with 3 [states of gevura], and 1 [son] matched with 2 [states of gevura] that join together, i.e. the last two letters of the name Elokim.

Ham had four sons. (Gen. 10:6) But if he, personifying gevura, produced the five states of gevura, we would have expected that he have five sons. This is solved here, for the first three letters of the name "Elokim", alef-lamed-hei, signify sweetened states of gevura, i.e. those states of gevura that serve a positive purpose in Creation. These three were personified by three of the sons of Ham. The last two letters of the name "Elokim", yud-mem, were not sweetened and were combined together in the fourth son (presumably Mitzrayim, i.e. Egypt).

It is for this reason that the first plague was that of blood, for [the plagues] took place in the throat [of holiness], which is a narrow part [of the body]. It is therefore called "Egypt" [in Hebrew, "Mitzrayim"], meaning "the constriction [in Hebrew, 'meitzar'] of the yud-mem." Since [Egypt] took the place of the two states of gevura, which is the place where the blood gathers and has its source, they were smitten accordingly.

The Hebrew for Egypt, "Mitzrayim", can be read "meitzar yud-mem", or "the constriction of the letters yud-mem", i.e. of the last two letters of the name Elokim.

One of the three channels of life-force in the neck, as we said, is the set of two blood vessels the supply the brain with blood. These evidently signify the two states of gevura embodied in Egypt. Since the forces of evil seek to appropriate the holy life force in these blood vessels, they were smitten with blood.

Of the plague of lice, the sorcerers of Egypt said, "It is the finger of G‑d," because the numerical value of the word for "lice" [in Hebrew, "kinim"] is 120, corresponding to the 120 [permutations of] the name Elokim. Since they could not produce them, they said that this plague was from the name Elokim.

Perhaps this means that they understood that here, too, they were being deprived of their power, which originated in the name Elokim.

This is also why the sea of reeds ["yam suf" in Hebrew] is called thus, for these two letters from the name Elokim spell the word for "sea" [in Hebrew, "yam"] and go after evil, signified by the end [in Hebrew, "sof"] of this name, smiting it.

The Hebrew word for "sea" ("yam", spelled yud-mem) is composed of the same two final letters of the name Elokim. The Hebrew word for "reeds", "suf" [spelled samech-vav-pei], is the same as the word for "end", "sof" [spelled samech-vav-pei]. The "sea of reeds" thus alludes, as well, to the last two letters of the name Elokim, the unsweetened gevura, taken by Egypt. The Egyptians therefore had to be smitten there, as well.

Thus, we have three instances of the Egyptians being smitten by the name Elokim. The plague of blood smote the Egyptian evil personified by the chief butcher and the blood vessels of the throat. Presumably, the plague of lice and the splitting of the sea correspond to the other two deputies of Pharaoh and their anatomical correlates, but this is not stated explicitly in the text.

We now return to the verse quoted in the beginning of this exposition.

Thus, the verse reads, "in order to place these signs of Mine in his midst."

The word for "these" [in Hebrew, "eileh", spelled alef-lamed-hei] can be seen as a combination of the name E-l [spelled alef-lamed] and the feminine suffix hei, whose numerical value is 5. The word for "these" is also the first three letters of the name Elokim.

The name E-l signifies chesed. The hei [of the word eileh, "these"] receives [divine beneficence] from chesed and transmits it to gevura. This is the meaning of "these signs of Mine in his midst". The name E-l plays the role of the male, while [the Egyptians, represented by Pharaoh] were connected to the sea, signifying the female, represented by the letter hei. Therefore, [these signs] had to enter him.

The Egyptians fed off the last two letters of the name Elokim, i.e. unsweetened gevura, as we saw above. In order to prevent this, unsweetened gevura had to be overcome by sweetened gevura, signified by the first three letters of the name Elokim. Thus, the phrase "in order to place these signs of Mine in his midst" can be mystically interpreted to mean: "in order to put the letters alef-lamed-hei of My name [Elokim] into him [i.e. into the last two letters of My name Elokim, from which he is trying to derive sustenance]."

Although above we said that "these signs of Mine" refer to the letters of the name Havayah, here it seems that these words are being referred to the first three letters of the name Elokim.

In terms of sefirot, the three letters alef-lamed- hei indicate the flow of chesed into gevura, sweetening it. The numerical value of the letter hei, which has a numerical value of 5, indicates the distribution of the chesed into all five states of gevura.

This is the mystical meaning of our sages' statement that "Every plague was really 5 plagues in one, and some say 50 plagues in one," (Passover Haggada) alluding to the two final letters of the name Elokim.

The numerical value of yud-mem is 10 + 40 = 50. The Sages said that every plague was really 5 to indicate that through the plagues all five states of gevura were sweetened and that every plague was really 50 to indicate that the final letters of the name Elokim were sweetened.

The 5 refers to the 5 letters of the name Elokim. This is why the exodus from Egypt is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, in order disengage [the Jewish people] from the two final letters of the name Elokim to which they were connected.

The first exile was "these signs of Mine"; the second was "in order that you tell…and you know that I am Havayah," for when the name Havayah is revealed [evil] is annihilated completely. They did not recognize this until the [splitting of the] sea, as we explained.

This explains the verse well. [This is as much of the manuscript that I found.]

The first exile, Egypt, was taken care of by putting "these signs of Mine", i.e. the sweetened first three letters of the name Elokim, into the last two.

[Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."]

Reprinted with permission from Chabad of California. Copyright 2004 by Chabad of California, Inc. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, without permission, in writing, from Chabad of California, Inc.