Daily Zohar # 2698 – Shemini – The two sides of wine
“יַיִן וְשֵׁכָר אַל תֵּשְׁתְּ אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ בְּבֹאֲכֶם אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְלֹא תָמֻתוּ חֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם.”
“Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die– it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations–”
The priests were warned not to drink wine and alcoholic drinks when they come inside the Holy Tabernacle because it would cause them death. Nadav and Avihu drank wine before they went into the Holy Tabernacle and they died.
“וְיַיִן יְשַׂמַּח לְבַב אֱנוֹשׁ לְהַצְהִיל פָּנִים מִשָּׁמֶן וְלֶחֶם לְבַב אֱנוֹשׁ יִסְעָד.”
“And wine which makes man’s heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man’s heart.”
Rabbi Chiya quotes this verse and ask why wine is forbidden for the priests when it brings joy to a priest that need to be in happiness and a face of light more than anyone else.
The Zohar explains that the beginning of wine is happiness but it ends with sadness. The priest need to be always happy and wine may take him down from joy to sadness that is a spiritual disconnection.
Wine comes from the side of the Levites because Torah and its ‘wine’ is from the side of Gevurah. The priests are from the Right, Chessed and aspect of water.
The wine of the Torah is the aspect of the work done to reveal the Torah secrets. The wine is the inner of the fruit that requires a process to produce it.
Rabbi Yosei says that the wine, Left and water, Right join together. They start with joy because of the water and then the water go to the Left and turns sad and angry and bring judgment from the Left.