Zohar: Sex and Marriage

Said Rabbi Jehuda: "Truly the subject of marriage must be of the greatest anxiety to the Holy One. Blessed is the lot of Israel who enjoys the secret doctrine that teaches them His Holy way, as also the secrets and mysteries attending them. It is written, 'The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul ' (Ps. XIX. 7). Blessed is he who studies in it and rules his life thereby, for then he acquires length of days and learns the secret of life, as it is written, 'For length of days and long life and peace shall it add to thee.'" (Prov. III. 2). - Zohar, Ch. XCIII


Another guest spake and said: "It is written, 'And in my flesh shall I see my God, Eloha' (Job XIX. 26). What is meant by this expression, 'in my flesh'? Why said he not, rather, 'in myself'? If he really said 'in my flesh,' what did he mean? Job here alludes to the flesh which scriptures mentions, 'The holy flesh they have soiled' (yaabrou) (Jer. XI. 15), and also, 'My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant' (Gen. XVII. 13). We are taught whenever a man bears this token on him, he sees the Holy One himself, and when this occurs it is through the unification of the lower and higher selves, resulting in the Beatific Vision. If, however, he does not preserve purity of thought and act, scriptures states, this union ceases and becomes broken, and the soul or lower self perishes, going back and becoming resolved into its original elements out of which it has been prepared and built up, like as the material body returns to the dust out of which it has been formed; and therefore it is written, 'They lose the breath divine (minishmath Eloha).' The divine Schekina never separates from one who by his pure life and faithful obedience observed the good law, or covenant. If it be asked, when does the holy Spirit or divine life manifest itself in a man? it is when the union we have just mentioned is effected. It is the true, the divine, marriage when they twain become one flesh. From tradition we learn why the letters V and H are placed together in their alphabetical order. Vau being the symbol of the male and He that of the female principle, which are united and operate in combination with each other, as husband and wife, and from one becoming invested with a nimbus or covering of divine light that emanates from the male principle and known in scripture as grace (chesed), as it is written, 'The goodness (chesed) of God endureth continually' (Ps. LII. 1). This ray of divine light comes through the Sephira "supreme Wisdom" and penetrates the male principle, which is communicated to the female. Another tradition states that the name Aloha is separable into, al, V and H, al designating the light of wisdom, V the male principle and H the female principle, and their totality form Aloha. The holy soul or higher self, as it has been stated, is in intimate relationship with the nephesh or soul only so long as it keep itself pure and preserve intact the holy covenant, and therefore it is written, 'In my flesh shall I see God' (Aloha) (Job XIX. 26). A pure life, a pure soul , are reciprocal and convertible terms and never separated. Happy the lot of those who, attached to the Holy One, live the divine life, both in this world and the world to come. Of them it is written, 'Ye who have become joined unto the Lord your God are alive everyone of you this day' (Deuter. IV. 2). For theirs is the one true and divine life that they live." - Zohar, Ch. XCVII


Another guest spake and said: "It is written, 'Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear, though war should rise against me, in this (bezoth) will I be confident' (Ps. XXVII. 3). The word "bezoth" here denotes the sign of the covenant a man bears here below as on high, and this is why David said, 'In this will I be confident.' It is written, 'Zoth is the sign of the covenant' (Gen. IX. 12). 'Zoth is my covenant.' These zoths refer to one and the same sign of the divine life. We learn from tradition that ze, male, and zoth, female, are one and never separate. If it be said, then everyone, whether bearing the mark of the covenant or not, enjoys the blessings of it. Why should not everyone, as well as David, say the same words? But David was united with and enjoyed the presence of the Schekina, of which he was an image by virtue of the royal crown or diadem he wore. Observe, it was owing to his failure in preserving zoth in all its purity, that the kingdom was taken from him for a period, as tradition states. This zoth is impressed on the celestial kingdom as on Jerusalem the Holy City. When David by his sin in connection with Bathsheba transgressed against it, a voice from on high called unto him and said, 'Thou shalt reap the fruit of thy deeds. Thou shalt be ejected out of Jerusalem and the kingdom shall be taker from thee.' We learn this from the words of scripture, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house' (2 Sam. XII. II). Thus was David punished for breaking the covenant by his unchastity; and, as it was with him, so will it be with all others who likewise transgress against it." - Zohar, Ch. XCVII


The verse, "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent" [Genesis 24:67], our masters have interpreted to mean that the Divine Presence came into Isaac's house along with Rebecca. According to the secret doctrine, the supernal Mother is together with the male only when the house is in readiness and at the time the male and female are conjoined. At such time blessings are showered forth by the supernal Mother upon them. - Zohar, Genesis 101b


Observe that all souls in the world are the fruit of his work before they become incarnated, and form one grand aggregate which, after descending into the earth life, become separated and differentiated into male and female forms that eventually become united. Observe that the desire of the female towards the male induces in it a similar and corresponding feeling resulting in marriage. This reunion is brought about and accomplished by the Holy One alone, and not by any celestial chief or ruler. Blessed is the man whose life is pure and who walks in the path of truth, for their soul becomes united with soul as they existed before incarnation. He whose life is a pure and spiritual life is the perfect man, of whom it is written, 'His fruit is sweet to my taste.' or he is not only blessed himself, but is a blessing to the world and we are able to conclude, therefore, that weal or woe, happiness or unhappiness, are the results of our own acts, words and deeds."

Said Rabbi Hezekiah to Rabbi Eleazar: "Listen to what has been said to me. It is written, 'From me is thy fruit found' (Hes. XIV. 8).Hosea 14:8 This is what the Holy One said to the congregation of Israel, 'thy fruit,' and not 'my fruit,' meaning that as through the united desires of the male and female fruit is born, or a soul is born, so it is with the union of the congregation of Israel with the Holy One. They become united to them by the tie of holy and pure love resulting in holy fruit, as marriage does in the production of offspring." - Zohar, Ch. XCI



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