Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Erev Rav in the Zohar

Zohar 2:191a-2:191b

And the people saw that Moshe was delayed (boshesh Moshe). Who are these people? These are the Erev Rav. Who is the Erev Rav? For the Ludim and Kushim and Kaftorim and Tugarmim were the ones called Erev Rav, but wasn't it Mitzri'im and from Mitzrayim that they traveled? And these were a mixture of many peoples, therefore it should have been written that the Erev Rav went up (with the verb for went up being plural) because it was a mixture.

But rather the Erev Rav went up (in the singular), one people, and one language, but rather they were all the sorcerers of Egypt and all of their magicians, about whom it is written "and they also did, the magicians of Mitzrayim", that they wanted to stand up against the wonders of Hashem. And because they saw the miracles and the wonders of Moshe in Mitzrayim, they followed Moshe. Hashem said to Moshe: "Don't take them". Moshe said: "Master of the World, because they saw Your strength, they want to convert. They'll see your strength every day and know that there is no G-d aside from you." And Moshe accepted them.

Why are they called Erev Rav, rather they were all the sorcerers of Mitzrayim, and at there head was Yonus and Yimbrus, and (according to) the hours of the day they would do their sorcery. For all this upper sorcery they would look at where the sun is. At the beginning of 6.5 hours until the beginning of 9.5 hours, which is a big Erev. And all the smaller magic is from nine and a half hours until midnight.

These upper ones amongst them would look at the position of the sun , and then the 995 levels would begin to wander on the mountains of darkness. Their spirit would wander around all of these levels with their sorcery. And they would do whatever they desire, until all the Egyptians would place their trust in them. And they call them the Erev Rav, because there is also an Erev Ze'ir (small Erev). From 9.5 hours and onward, this is is the Erev Ze'ir. Therefore it is written "and also the Erev Rav went up with them."

And there wisdom was great, and they would look at the hours of the day, and the level of Moshe, and they would see that from all sides "Boshesh Moshe" (Moshe delayed), for in the first six hours of the day they couldn't control him because of the six upper levels that are within him.


If we look at the 6th Millenium as being the day of the Sin of the Golden Calf, the Zohar shows us what to expect. The control of the Erev Rav in general will start at approximately 6.5 hours in. At this time, the Erev Rav, not the Erev Zeir, however, is dominant. The time of the Erev Rav comes to an end, and the time of the Erev Zeir's dominance comes at 9.5 hours in to the day. Why do they ascend? Because Moshe (Moshiach) is delayed (we did not merit Moshiach's arrival), and this is their opportunity to control Am Yisrael.

1 hour = 1000 / 12 = 83.333 years

6.5 * 83.333 = 541.666 + 5000 years = 5541.666 (1781 CE)

9.5 * 83.333 = 791.666 + 5000 = 5791.666 (2031 CE)

Keeping in mind the entire discussion we've had regarding the root of the Erev Rav of the Left and Right, now look at Jewish history starting in the late 18th century, you will find new movements begin to influence Am Yisrael. It was in the early 1780's that Moses Mendelssohn wrote his most influential works on the separation of religion and state. Moses Mendelssohn is widely held to be the "Father of the Haskalah Movement". Read here about the effects of this movement.

For better understanding, read up on the history of Jewish movements of the last 230 years, and you should be able to draw further conclusions about our situation today.

In Kol HaTor we are reminded that the Other Side has 999 levels, just like the side of Kedushah, so the physical side of the Erev Rav precedes the spiritual side of the Erev Rav, just like with Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid. Physical dominates, but it is not alone. Perhaps this is why, as recorded in Kol HaTor, the GR"A attempted to make Aliyah specifically in the year 5541, to counteract this force with Kedushah in the physical world, yet he was not given permission from Heaven to continue, he was to pass this on to his students, who arrived in Tzfat in Elul 5569.


  1. If the GR"A was not given permission to offset things with his holy presence, what does THAT mean for us in modern times?

    Thank you.

  2. The GR"A did what had to be done. His holy presence was not practical: What is 1 tsaddik in Kibbutz Galuyot at the beginning, as opposed to the 70 familiar that came less than 15 years after his passing? Not just any families, but families that really set the foundation for things to come. That is how I look at it.