Zohar Ki Tisa
The clouds of honor that covered and protected the Israelites during their journeys in the wilderness. They were only above the camps of the Israelites. The mixed multitude, Erev Rav, and the animals were outside the camps and the protection of the clouds. Inside the boundary of the clouds, there were no filth, dirt and or waste. The animals were eating grass outside the camps and had waste. Also, the people that were guarding them.
Rabbi Elazar asks his father; weren’t the Erev Rav eating from the Manna? And Rabbi Shimon answers; certainly so. They were only eating from what the Israelites were giving them like a person gives leftovers to his servant.
“וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָכְלוּ אֶת הַמָּן אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה עַד בֹּאָם אֶל אֶרֶץ נוֹשָׁבֶת אֶת הַמָּן אָכְלוּ עַד בֹּאָם אֶל קְצֵה אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן.”
“The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”
When the Torah says, ‘sons of Israel,’ it always refers to the twelve tribes of Israel, excluding the Erev Rav. This verse tells us that only the Israelites ate the manna.
The Erev Rav were called by this name because their souls were mixed form the good and bad side.
The Zohar reveals that after the sin in the Garden of Eden, Adam was away from Eve for 130 years.During this time he sinned with the female of the other side. The adverse outcome of this relationship was the creation of negative souls mixed with some good from the side of Adam. These souls incarnated in the Erev Rav. The female side of the soul has stronger impact on the vessel that the souls bond with. Therefore, the Erev Rav were mostly negative with a great desire for the self alone.
As incarnation of Abel, son of Adam, he knew about this aspect of correction and wanted to correct the “Sin of Adam/his father” by allowing the Erev Rav to join the Israelites in the exodus from Egypt. By taking them along on the spiritual journey to the Land of Israel, he hoped to elevate their souls, even though God had advised him against it. Because the Creator did not agree with Moses’s decision, the Torah refers to the Erev Rav as “the People” not as the Children of Israel.
The Zohar nowadays gives protection like what the cloud of honors gave the Israelites in the wilderness. When we are under the ‘clouds’ that are the studies of the Zohar, we have protection. There are many souls of the Erev Rav that the small spark of good in them is attracted to the Zohar. They fail when they let the desire for the self alone seek ‘Shortcuts’ (See DZ 2934 < https://dailyzohar.com/daily-zohar-2934/ >) that is the aspect of looking for a ‘Golden Calf’ to have a god that they can see and touch. Those who are looking for ‘Shortcuts’ should fight the attraction to the ‘Golden Calf’ and study for the sake of revealing Light and follow the spiritual laws that the Zohar teaches us. Only then we can get under the ‘Clouds’ and benefit from them.