On this basis, [we can understand] the passage from the Zohar (Parshas Chukas) cited previously (ch. 6):

One who takes the potion of death alone, to him can be applied the phrase: 1 “In all of his labor which he will perform beneath the sun.”

What is meant by “beneath the sun”? I would presume the intent is the moon. When a person attaches himself to the moon without the sun....

[“Attach(ing) oneself to the moon without the sun”] refers to attaching oneself to the attribute of Malchus without [the influence of] Za’er Anpin. Malchus is one of the Sefiros which are entirely holy. Nevertheless, because it is the source for the yesh, and from it is drawn down the potential for G‑d to be “King over nations,” 2 i.e., the external forces have a source of nurture from this level, [by attaching oneself to Malchus,] one is considered as attaching oneself to “the potion of death.” For this [approach] will lead to the strengthening of the external forces, [enabling them] to overcome the light of holiness.

Instead, there must be a unity between the sun and the moon, drawing down light from the level of Za’er Anpin- a level which has no connection to yeshus and which does not allow any nurture to the external forces, heaven forbid. On the contrary, this level leads to the nullification of the yesh. For “before Him, everything is of no significance at all.” And thus “all workers of iniquity shall be dispersed” 3 because of this light. [When this light is revealed, the external forces] will not [be able to derive] any nurture even from the attribute of Malchus. [On the contrary,] although [Malchus] will enclothe itself in these [lower levels], it will bring about a refinement of them.

Similarly, [with regard to the parallel within our] Divine service, when a person attaches himself to the rung of yichuda tata’ah alone, without any influence of yichuda ila’ah, he will fall from his rung, because he shares a connection with yeshus. Thus the yeshus overpowers him and causes him to descend.

Instead, a person must [combine the approach of] yichuda ila’ah. When this [is accomplished], even when he is enclothed in the animal soul to refine it through the Divine service of yichuda tata’ah, he will not fall from his spiritual level. On the contrary, he will refine the animal soul.

[On this basis, we can understand the continuation of the passage from the Zohar:] “This is [the nature of] the first sin of the world, [i.e., the sin committed by Adam, the first man]. Adam’s sin was that he attached himself to the level of Malchus alone, and rejected the level of Tiferes which is referred to as “the sun of Havayah,” 4 i.e., he did not desire the bittul of yichuda ila’ah, to be nullified like the radiance of the sun within the sun itself. Instead, “his labor” was “perform[ed] beneath the sun,” i.e., with the attribute of Malchus alone. For this reason, he fell among the kelipah and sitra achra.

This explains his attachment to the Tree of Knowledge. For the Tree of Knowledge refers to the attribute of Malchus whose “feet descend to death,” 5 to give life to the seventy archangels. When he attached himself to the Tree of Knowledge without [the influence of] the Tree of Life, Za’er Anpin, “he attached himself to death,” for this enables the external forces to prevail.

This is implied by the statements of the Zohar in Parshas Vayechi [cited in ch. 5]: “Certainly death is before you, as it is written: ‘Her feet descend to death.’” Although it is stated that death is merely “before you,” for it is only the feet [of Malchus] which “descend to death,” nevertheless, concerning this it is said: “You abandoned life, and clung to death.” For when Malchus is taken alone, it is natural for the external forces to prevail. Therefore, the influence of the Tree of Life is also necessary. As the Mikdash Melech states in the name of Rabbi Chayim Vital, Adam should have first eaten from the Tree of Life, or he should have eaten from both Trees together, so that there would be a congruence of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. When this is accomplished, even the Tree of Knowledge will not provide a source of nurture for the external forces. On the contrary, it will refine them.

Then the level of Malchus becomes “a living G‑d and eternal King.” 6 An advantage is granted to it because of the work of refinement. [This will be revealed] in the era of the Redemption when Malchus will be [granted prominence, as implied by the verse:] 7 “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband.” 8For as explained in the Maamorei Zohar, Parshas Chukas, when the potion of death is transformed into life, it is the ultimate of good and life.

This is reflected by David who was a medium for the attribute of Malchus, who would bind Malchus together with Tiferes, as implied by his words: 9 “And you shall say: ‘May it be so throughout life.’” “So,” koh in Hebrew, is a reference to Malchus. “Life,” chai, is a reference to the level of Za’er Anpin. [“And you shall say” can be interpreted as a charge to] connect and interrelate these two spiritual qualities. [When this is accomplished,] Malchus is called “the living G‑d.”

This spiritual service is alluded to by the phrase: 10David, King of Israel, lives and endures.” (See also the explanation of the expression: “And you shall say: ‘May it be so throughout life’” in sec. 2 of the maamar entitled Sos Tasis in Likkutei Torah.)

Adam, the first man, by contrast, attached himself to the level of Malchus alone without [the mitigating influence of] Tiferes. Accordingly, Malchus [became] “a potion of death.”

This is the intent of the passage from the Zihorei Chamah [cited in ch. 5, which speaks of Adam] “taking grain from its owner, enclothing it in the Tree of Death.” By “taking grain away from its owner,” he separated it, allowing for self-concern and separation, causing a greater enclothement in the Tree of Death. This leads to a strengthening of the external forces, which is identified with the exile of the Divine Presence, as explained above. See also the statements of the Tikkunei Zohar, at the beginning of Tikkun 66: “When G‑d was one above the differences between good and evil.” Instead, Malchus should be fused with Tiferes, as King David fused [Malchus,] koh, with [Za’er Anpin,] chai.

These concepts are also reflected in our Sages’ statement (Sanhedrin 38b) that Adam extended his foreskin. For the source for the concealment of the foreskin is drawn down from the name Elokim. For as explained above, when the name Elokim is separated from the name Havayah, complete and utter concealment and hiddenness is drawn down from this. This is [the implication of Adam] extending his foreskin, that he drew down the concealment of the foreskin by separating [the name Elokim,] the source of all concealment from the name Havayah which is described with the analogy of the sun.

This is also the intent of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in [the passage from] the Midrash Rabbah 11 [cited in ch. 5] that the Tree of Knowledge was a fig tree. The fig tree refers to the level of Malchus. [Adam] took the fig, i.e., he attached himself to the level of Malchus, “without its owner.” He separated Malchus from Tiferes. Through this he brought grief and wailing to the world. For this resulted in the strengthening of the external forces which caused death.

Therefore when Adam returned to G‑d in teshuvah, it is written: 12 “And they sewed fig leaves.” [Commenting on that phrase,] the Midrash Rabbah11 quotes Rabbi Yitzchak [who explains that G‑d rebuked Adam, telling him]: “You ruined your deeds. [Now] take a thread and mend.”

“You ruined your deeds,” by separating the Tree of Knowledge [from the Tree of Life]. “Take a thread and mend”: “sew fig leaves,” i.e., join the fig tree, the Tree of Knowledge, with the Tree of Life, i.e., fuse together yichuda ila’ah with yichuda tata’ah as explained above, so that the bittul of yichuda ila’ah will be intermingled even [within the Divine service of] yichuda tata’ah. This will endow it with life and goodness.

Synopsis: [In this chapter,] the question regarding [the sin of Adam, the first man,] is answered. Adam’s sin was that he attached himself to Malchus, yichuda tata’ah without Tiferes, yichuda ila’ah. [King] David, by contrast, fused together Koh, (Malchus,) and Chai, (Za’er Anpin). For there should be a fusion of the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.