102. אָמַר לָהֶם רַבִּי אִילָאִי, צַדִּיקֵי אֱמֶת, הִכָּנְסוּ וּרְאוּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי רְשׁוּת נִמְסְרָה לָכֶם לְהִכָּנֵס עַד אוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם שֶׁפָּרֹכֶת פְּרוּסָה. אַשְׁרֵי חֶלְקְכֶם. קָמוּ וְנִכְנְסוּ לְתוֹךְ מָקוֹם אֶחָד, וְהָיוּ שָׁם בַּעֲלֵי אַגָּדָה, וּפְנֵיהֶם מְאִירִים כְּאוֹר הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ. אָמְרוּ, מִי אֵלֶּה? אָמַר לָהֶם, אֵלֶּה בַּעֲלֵי אַגָּדָה, וְרוֹאִים בְּכָל יוֹם אוֹר הַתּוֹרָה כָּרָאוּי. עָמְדוּ וְשָׁמְעוּ כַּמָּה דְבָרִים חֲדָשִׁים בַּתּוֹרָה, וְלֹא נִתְּנָה לָהֶם רְשׁוּת לְהִכָּנֵס לְתוֹכָם.
Zohar Shelach Lecha
“וּפִגְרֵיכֶם אַתֶּם יִפְּלוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה.”
“But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness.”
Ten of the twelve spies that Moses sent into the Holy Land spoke negatively about it when they came back. It was a sin that demonstrated their lack of faith and selfishness. They thought that when they get into the land, the nation will be in unity and they will lose their status as leaders of tribes.
The carcasses are the aspect of the evil inclination. The word ‘carcasses’ is in plural form because it has male and female aspects.
“Your carcasses shall fall,” tells that the evil inclination and all negative and impurities have aspects of going down while the Holy is in the up direction. ‘Shall fall’ is in the future tense to tell us that destroying the evil by the Holy One Blessed be He is a continuous process.
Rabbi Ilai told the truly righteous rabbis that they were given permission to enter a special place. They got into a place where there were scholars of great knowledge, and their faces were bright like the sunlight. They asked Rabbi Ilai who they were and he answered that they are scholars that see the pure light of Torah every day. They were not allowed to join these scholars but stood near to hear new revelations of Torah secrets.
Righteousness and holiness is a spiritual state and that is why it has the aspect of ‘Up’. Evil, sins, and impurities relate to the desires of the self alone in this world and they have the aspects of ‘Down’. The impurities ‘circulate’ in our blood and drive us to continue doing more negative actions.
To cleanse ourselves from sins and or impurities we push away our selfish desires with repentance and personal commitments to do good and avoid the bad. One of the effective ways is to fast. During fasting, we distance ourselves from food that has a natural aspect of desire for the self. Fasting ‘breaks’ the desire of the body for itself and the soul can have better control and spiritual connections. The Holy Ari would prescribe a different number of fasting days to cleanse different sins.
We can have better health in body and soul if we fast frequently, even if we decide to make fasting between meals, and skip meals from morning until night.