When judgments rise in the world of Malchut, the aspect of death spreads, people should avoid public places and ‘hide’. Noah closed himself in the Ark to stay away from the judgment of the Flood that was outside, so he can stay protected from all sides.
To stay away from the three judgments that in the three lines of Zeir Anpin, we should not draw direct light from the Left because it’s aspect of darkness. Direct light is light that is ‘swallowed‘ by the desire for the self alone. It’s like black color/darkness that doesn’t reveal light. This darkness is where the forces of the other side awaits and take the light away from us by creating judgments.
When we create ‘returning light’ by restriction that is pushing away (reflecting) the Light, we reveal it and benefit from it.
The light of Chokmah that comes down to Malchut without restriction is considered darkness. If we receive it and share it (pushing away) we create the light of Chassadim. The Sefira of Chessed is on the Right and below Chokmah. Abraham that was the chariot of Chessed had no desires for himself. He was all about sharing and therefore could transform the light of Chokmah from darkness to light in this world. Abraham’s tent was open to all direction so people would feel invited and come to receive from what he shared.
“לֵךְ עַמִּי בֹּא בַחֲדָרֶיךָ, וּסְגֹר דלתיך (דְּלָתְךָ) בַּעֲדֶךָ; חֲבִי כִמְעַט-רֶגַע, עַד-יעבור- (יַעֲבָר-) זָעַם”
“Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.”
‘the fury’ is the forces of judgments that we need to hide ourselves from. As we explained above, we hide or as the verse says ‘shut your doors behind’ by surrounding ourselves with the light of Chassadim until judgment has no longer permission to inflict harm.
The Holy One Blessed be He loves the souls of the Israelites because they are close to him. The nations of the world are far from him and can’t experience that love. Because of the special relations they have with God, they hate the Israelites.
Jacob loved Joseph more than his brothers and it revealed the aspect of judgment in Malchut that is darkness and death. This judgment expressed in Joseph’s life with the desire and plans of his brothers to kill him. Even though they were brothers, the force of judgment was strong.
The Torah guides us to follow 365 precepts of “You shall not do” and 248 precepts of “Do…”. By following the 365 precepts, we hide from judgments and by acting on the 248, we create light of Chassadim to support us. Abraham has the numerical value of 248.
When we wake up in the morning we still carry the aspect of death from the night sleep. We must wash our hands immediately to avoid transferring negative energy/darkness to what we touch, including our own body. We do the 18 morning blessings to restore the soul/life into our body. Then we pray and read the Shema Israel prayer that has 1000 letters in 248 words. Only after we bring the light in, we can eat or drink. If one must drink before then he can drink pure water (no flavorings) because water has aspect of Chassadim in the body. Sugar has the aspect of the desire for the self and that is why it can be addictive and hurt the body.
The word for womb that is the vessel that forms and channel life to the world is רחם, it’s as you guessed, 248. This word also the root of the word for ‘Mercy’, ‘רחמים’.’
When we feel under judgment we should reduce the desire for the self alone and think about actions that would draw light (pray, study, sharing, Tzedakah etc.). A person with illness, should minimize on eating because the digestion takes from the body energy/light and could make the person even weaker. Normally sick people don’t have much appetite because the body doesn’t want extra activity and in focus to remove the judgment in the body.
We fast on 8th of Av to disconnect from the presence of the negative energy spread in the world on that day. We stay ‘low’ and close ourselves away from the ‘other-side’. On Yom Kippur we fast so our body won’t interfere with the process of receiving the high light.
Expressing love to a loved one in public is risky because those around that don’t have love of their own would create jealousy and ‘hate’ aspect that may bring undesired judgments.
Daily Zohar # 2902 – Vayeshev – Love 248