Ex. XXXVIII. 21-XL, 38

THESE ARE THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TABERNACLE. EVEN THE TABERNACLE OF THE TESTIMONY. AS THEY WERE RENDERED ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT OF MOSES. ETC. R. Hiya, in this connection. quoted the verse: "All the rivers run into the sea. yet the sea is not full" (Eccles. I, 7). 'Esoterically speaking', he said, 'all the rivers here allude to the sacred brooks and springs which, when filled, pour forth to supply the great ocean. This in turn, when so filled, flows over and affords drink to all the "beasts of the field". These are the lower Chariot group, for, after the ocean has drawn in all the waters it lets them out towards one side, namely, towards the lower Holy Chariots, giving them drink. Now, these are all numbered and noted by name, as we read: "He calleth them all by name" (Isa. XL, 26). Similarly, "These are the accounts of the tabernacle, even the tabernacle of the testimony".'

R. Jose cited here the verse: "Oh how abundant is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee" (Ps. XXXI, 20). 'How greatly incumbent', he said, 'it is on the sons of men to reflect on and to study the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, inasmuch as day by day [220b] a voice goes forth and proclaims: "O ye people of the world, take heed unto yourselves, close the gates of sin, keep away from the perilous net before your feet are caught in it '" A certain wheel [1] is ever whirling continuously round and round. Woe to those whose feet lose their hold on the wheel, for then they fall into the Deep which is predestined for the evildoers of the world' Woe to those who fall, never to rise and enjoy the light that is stored up for the righteous in the world to come , Happy are the righteous in the world to come, for many are the effulgences treasured up for them, many the felicities reserved for them. The verse continues: "which thou hast wrought for them that take refuge in thee in the sight of the sons of men". The word "wrought" refers to the fact that God wrought the light as the medium for the creation of the world. "For them that take refuge in thee", to wit, for those who dwell underneath the shadow of the Holy One, blessed be He; "in the sight of the sons of men", inasmuch as it is the functioning of this light that makes possible the existence of mankind, who are sustained by it despite the fact that the light itself is stored away. Again, "which thou hast wrought", viz. as a medium for the construction of the world according to an orderly plan; and similar to the construction of the world was the construction of the Tabernacle. This is indicated by the similarity of the phrase, "these are the accounts of the tabernacle", and "these are the generations of the heaven and the earth". For all the generations of heaven and earth were produced by the energy of that treasured-up Light; and likewise, all that came within the "accounts of the tabernacle" was accomplished by the same energy. How do we know this? Because Scripture says, "And Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah", he being of the "right side"; "and with him was Oholiab", who was of the "left side", for the Tabernacle was made by the energy of both the right side and the left side, and was finally erected by Moses, who united the two.'

R. Eleazar discoursed on the verse: "And a throne is established through mercy, and there sitteth thereon in truth, in the tent of David, one that judgeth, and seeketh justice, and is ready in righteousness" (Isa. XVI, 5). 'This has been explained as follows', he said. 'When the Thought arose with glad purpose from the Most Recondite and Unknowable, that gladness impinged on the Thought, so that the latter entered more and more deeply until it was secluded in the interior of a certain supernal undisclosed Palace. [2] It is from thence that there flow forth, first all the rivers of the "right side", and after them the others. On the "right side" it was that the Lower Throne was established, since the Holy One, blessed be He, established that Throne "through mercy, and there sitteth thereon in truth". The Throne is the bearer of the seal, the impress of which is Truth, and the Holy One sits on that Throne only in virtue of that seal; "in the tent of David", which is identical with the Lower Throne. "One that judgeth" is from the side of Rigour; "and seeketh judgement", from the side of Mercy; "and is ready in judgement", alluding to the Throne of Judgement, which is on earth. Similarly, the Tabernacle was established only on this side of Mercy, as already said; and thereby were adjusted all the affairs of the lower world.'

THESE ARE THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TABERNACLE, EVEN THE TABERNACLE OF THE TESTIMONY, AS THEY WERE RENDERED ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT OF MOSES. R. Simeon discoursed here on the verse: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. I, 1). 'This verse', he said, [221a] 'has been already expounded from various aspects. However, when the Holy One, blessed be He, created this world, He created it after the pattern of the supernal world. All the aspects of the upper world he established in the lower, so that the two worlds should be firmly knitted together. Furthermore, the Holy One, when about to create the world, used the Torah as a copy, and also the Divine Name, which is the epitome of the Torah, and by it firmly established the world. By three energies is the world upheld, to wit, by Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge. So Scripture says: "The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths were broken up" (Prov. III, 19-20). Observe that with the same three the Tabernacle was built, as it is written: "And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge" (Ex. XXXI, 3); and all these three are indicated in the story of Creation. Thus, "In the beginning" corresponds to Wisdom; "God created" hints at Understanding; "the heaven" to Knowledge. Similarly, in the account of the Tabernacle, "These are the accounts of the tabernacle" points to Wisdom; "even the tabernacle of testimony" points to Understanding; "as they were rendered according to the commandment of Moses" points to Knowledge. The two thus correspond to each other. Now, when God commanded Moses to make the Tabernacle, Moses stood bewildered, not knowing how to proceed until God showed him an actual representation of it. We thus read: "And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount" (Ex. XXV, 40). We learn from the phrase, "after their pattern", that the Holy One showed Moses each single part of it in its exact supernal form, after which Moses constructed the earthly Tabernacle. Why does Scripture say, "which thou art shown (mor'eh) on the mount" instead of "which thou seest (roeh)"? By this we learn that Moses was shown through a dark glass, as it were, the reflection of all the parts of the Tabernacle as they existed on high, and as they were to be constructed here below. Moses, on surveying them, was somewhat perplexed, so God said to him: "O Moses, do thou follow thy indications and I will follow mine." Moses then commenced the work without misgiving.

'When he had completed the whole work it was necessary for him to make an inventory of all the parts in order that the Israelites should not say that there was a surplus of silver or gold which he was keeping back for himself. He had thus to render an account in the presence of Israel according to the injunction, "and ye shall be clear before the Lord and before Israel" (Num. XXXII, 22). Hence it is written; "These are the accounts of the tabernacle, even the tabernacle of the testimony." For, indeed, the Holy Spirit made the whole of Israel see the amount of gold and silver offered by them, and then rendered account of them, calling out: "All the gold that was used for the work ... And the silver of them that were numbered in the congregation was a hundred talents... ." For the Holy One, blessed be He, was well pleased with those artificers and thus desired to demonstrate their trustworthiness before all. When the work of the Tabernacle was completed, the "other side" began going to and fro to see if he could not find something wrong, but he could discover no ground to impugn the honesty of the artificers; and the Holy One, blessed be He, made him do obeisance to Moses, and forced him against his will to acknowledge the correctness of the accounts. The integrity of the artificers was thus revealed to all; and this is the inward significance of the sentence, "These are the accounts of the tabernacle". It is also written, "as they were rendered according to the commandment of Moses", which signifies that by the order of Moses a complete account was rendered of all that concerned the Tabernacle in the presence of himself and the whole of Israel.' [221b]

THESE ARE THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TABERNACLE, EVEN THE TABERNACLE OF TESTIMONY. The term "tabernacle" is mentioned twice: once in reference to the one on high, and once in reference to the one below. What constituted the "testimony"? In regard to this, Scripture says, "even the tribes of the Lord (YH), as a testimony unto Israel" (Ps. CXXII, 4), whence we learn that that Divine Name is a testimony unto Israel. Verily, these two letters render testimony in every place. Hence "tabernacle" is used as the symbol of this holy name. [3] To this allusion is made in the words, "and my testimony that I shall teach them" (Ibid. CXXXII, 12), inasmuch as it is a spot hidden and undisclosed beyond all other spots.

As WAS RENDERED ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT OF MOSES. This refers to the testimony, not to the Tabernacle, and we should render "which was entrusted to the mouth of Moses". For after the departure from this world of the patriarchs and all the heads of the tribes, to wit, the sons of Jacob, during Israel's sufferings in exile, the knowledge of the mystery of that supernal Divine Name was forgotten by them, the Name bound up with the testimony, the Name composed of those two letters which are the basis of heaven and earth, of high and low, and of all corners of the universe. But when Moses carne, that Name was once more sought after and mentioned. For when he was near the thorn-bush he straightway asked concerning that Name, saying, "and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" (Ex. III, 13). It was there that that Name was entrusted to the mouth of Moses. We read further: THR0UGH THE SERVICE 0F THE LEVITES. The inner significance of this is supplied by the passage: "But the Levite shall serve Hu (lit. He)" (Num. XVIII, 23), which is an emblem of the Holy Name. Therein is enclosed the mystery of the Divine Name, which is characterized by "He" (hu), and not "Thou" (atthah). The Tabernacle is thus fitly identified with the "service of the Levites". Or we may also say that the Tabernacle is the "service of the Levites", inasmuch as they carried it on their shoulders from place to place, as Scripture says: "But unto the sons of Kehath he gave none, because the service of the holy things belonged unto them: they bore them upon their shoulders" (Num. VII, 9).

THESE ARE THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TABERNACLE, EVEN THE TABERNACLE OF TESTIMONY. R. Abba began a discourse on the verse: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek, and his resting-place shall be glorious" (Isa. XI, 10). 'In that day', he said, 'when peace will flourish in the world, the root of the Tree of Life will be confirmed, and from it shall all the terrestrial roots ramify and draw strength. "That standeth for an ensign of the people"; to wit, as a sign and symbol of the inwardness of the Divine Name. "Unto him shall the nations seek"; inasmuch as in him is contained the mystery of the Divine Name. The same is indicated in the words; "And many people shall go and say: Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord", etc. (Ibid. II, 3). "And his resting-place shall be glorious", to wit, the Temple, of which it is written: "This is my resting-place for ever" (Ps. CXXXIl, 14). Now, the resting-place of the root of Jesse, which is called "the glory of the Lord", will never be within the bounds of numbering and calculation. For blessing rests not upon what is counted, but only on what is beyond number. Observe that that Tabernacle was subjected to an inventory, and hence it needed the prayer of Moses for blessings to rest upon it, as Scripture says: "And Moses blessed them" (Ex. XXXIX, 42). What blessing did he pronounce? He said: "Let it be His will that blessing should rest on your handiwork." Yet blessings did not rest on that Tabernacle until Moses joined it to the heavenly Tabernacle. So Scripture says: "These are the accounts of the tabernacle, even the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were rendered according to the commandment of Moses." The last words indicate that without the supervision of Moses the accounts could not have been rendered.'

R. Abba continued: 'We find it written that the woman of Zarephath said to Elijah: [222a] "As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, only a handful of meal in the jar, and a little 0;1 in the cruse" (I Kings XVII, 12). Now, a "handful" forms a definite measure, hence it was not fitting that any blessing should rest upon the cruse. Nevertheless, we are told further: " For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: The jar of meal shall not be spent, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord will give rain upon the land" (Ibid. 14); and so it was. Now if that meal, though measured out and known to consist of a handful, yet did not fail to receive blessing in virtue of the word spoken by Elijah, how much the more so here, in regard to the Tabernacle of the testimony, notwithstanding its having been subjected to numbering, was it meet that blessings should rest on it since its inventory was made by Moses himself!'

THESE ARE THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TABERNACLE. R. Hezekiah adduced here the verse: "Draw not nigh hither, put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Ex. III, 5). 'This verse', he said, has been explained as an injunction to Moses to separate from his wife so as to cleave to the Shekinah. The term "holy ground" denotes the Shekinah, to whom Moses attached himself at that moment. The Holy One, blessed be He, thus bound him to Himself in heavenly love and affection, made him, as it were, steward of the House, so that he had only to order and the Holy One would execute that decree, as when he said, "and the ground shall open her mouth", etc. (Num. XVI, 30), and we are told, "And it came to pass as he made an end of speaking ... that the ground did cleave asunder" (Ibid. 31); or again, as when he said, "Rise up, O Lord ... Return, O Lord" (Ibid. x, 35-36). It is thus written: "as they were counted (puqqad) under the commandment of Moses", for it was under the command of Moses that the whole was accomplished and the sum of it counted. The word piqude (numberings) here contains an allusion to the message which God gave to Moses, saying: "I have indeed taken count (paqod paqadti) of you" (Ex. III, 16). For it was Moses who constituted the voice that uttered the message which heralded the departure of Israel from exile.'

AND BEZALEL, THE SON OF URI, THE SON OF HUR, OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, ETC. Said R. Judah: 'It has been laid down that Bezalel was of the "right side", and so it was he who perfected the whole work. Furthermore, since Judah was ruler and king over the rest of the tribes, it thus fell to a descendant of his to construct the Tabernacle. It has already been explained that the name Bezalel is a compound of two words, signifying "in the shadow of God", and thus indicates the "right side". Further, from this side Bezalel possessed himself of the wisdom to do all the work. AND WITH HIM WAS OHOLIAB, THE SON OF AHISAMACH, OF THE TRIBE OF DAN. Oholiab symbolized the "left side", the side of Rigour. The Tabernacle was thus made out of the two sides and upheld by both, so as to be a combination and a balancing of the Right and the Left.' R. Judah further cited in regard to this the verse: "Beautiful bowery, [4] the joy of the whole earth; even Mount Zion, the uttermost parts of the north, the city of the great king" (Ps. XLVIII, 3). 'Observe', he said, 'that when the Holy One, blessed be He, was about to create the world, He detached one precious stone from underneath His Throne of Glory and plunged it into the Abyss, one end of it remaining fastened therein whilst the other end stood out above; and this other and superior head constituted the nucleus of the world, the point out of which the world started, spreading itself to right and left and into all directions, and by which It IS sustained. That nucleus, that stone, is called sh'thyiah (foundation), as it was the starting-point of the world. The name sh'thyiah, furthermore, is a compound of shath (founded) and Yah (God), signifying that the Holy One, blessed be He, made it the foundation and starting-point of the world and all that is therein. [222b] Now, the earth's expansion round the central point was completed in three concentric rings, each of a different hue and texture. The first ring, the nearest to the Point, is of the purest and most refined earth-material; the second expansion, surrounding the first, is of a less polished, less refined earth-material than the first, but is superior to the one surrounding it; the third expansion consists of the darkest and coarsest earth-material of all. Then, surrounding that expansion, come the waters of the ocean that surrounds the whole world. Thus the point is in the centre, and the various expansions encircle it. The first expansion embraces the Sanctuary and all its courts and enclosures and all its appurtenances, as well as the whole city of Jerusalem bounded by the wall; the second expansion embraces the whole of the Land of Israel, the Land which was declared holy; the third expansion comprehends the rest of the earth, the dwelling-place of all the other nations. Then comes the great ocean which surrounds the whole. The whole arrangement is symbolized by the structure of the human eye. For just as in the human eye there are three concentric layers surrounding a central point, which forms the focus of vision, so is the world's vision focused in the central point, consisting of the Holy of Holies and the Ark and the Mercy Seat. Hence the description, "a beautiful bowery, the joy of the whole earth", "beautiful" in its appearance, and radiating joy to the whole world. It is compared to a "bowery" because the beauty of a tree is displayed in its branches. Observe that true beauty and symmetry were not manifested in the world until the Tabernacle was finally erected and the Ark brought within the Holy of Holies. From that moment the world appeared at its best, it attained its just balance, and a way was opened through the Tabernacle and past the Ark up to that Point, that "beautiful bowery, the joy of the whole earth". When that point was reached the Ark broke forth, saying: "This is my resting-place for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it" (Ps. CXXXII, 14).' R. Jesse said: 'This verse was uttered by the Community of Israel when the Temple was built and the Ark entered into its place.' R. Hezekiah said: 'It is the Holy One, blessed be He, who utters this verse, applying it to the Community of Israel when the latter performs His will. For at such a time the Holy One, blessed be He, ascends His Throne of Glory, and has compassion on the world, and blessings and peace and love are there, so that He says: "This is my resting-place for ever", etc. Now, observe that once the artisans had begun the work of the Tabernacle, it veritably completed itself of its own accord. This we learn from the words, "Thus was finished all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting" (Ex. XXXIX, 32). The same happened in the creation of the world, of which it is likewise written: "And the heaven and the earth were finished" (Gen. II, 1). This, it is true, seems to conflict with the statement that "on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made" (Ibid. 2.) But the truth is, that although the several parts of the world completed themselves one by one, yet the world in its entirety was only completed and firmly established when the seventh day came. For then did the Holy One, blessed be He, with it knit together the world into a complete whole, so that it could be written, "And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made." It was the same with the building of the Temple. The artisans having begun their work, it showed them what was to be done, as it were, before their eyes; it was traced out in their sight, and it completed itself of its own accord.' [5] [223a]

AND BEZALEL, THE SON OF URI, THE SON OF HUR. Tradition tells us that it was the Holy Spirit who made this announcement in the presence of Israel, proclaiming: "And Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses." AND WITH HIM WAS OHOLIAB, THE SON OF AHISAMACH. From the expression, "and with him ('itto)", we learn that Oholiab never performed any work by himself, but always in association with Bezalel. Hence the words, "and with him", which proves that the left is always embraced within the right.

THESE ARE THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TABERNACLE, EVEN THE TABERNACLE OF THE TESTIMONY, AS THEY WERE RENDERED ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT OF MOSES, ETC. R. Jesse said: 'The wise men having completed the Tabernacle, it was requisite that an account should be rendered of all the parts of the work. For what reason? Because as the account of each work was rendered, so did that work become firmly established in its place. Furthermore, as the Israelites had found delight at first in their voluntary offerings, so were they delighted in the accounts being rendered; and thus their delight helped to the confirming of the work. Now, it is written "these" and not "and these", this signifying that this account eclipsed all previous accounts rendered in the world, and was destined to outlive them, being the one by which the Tabernacle was sustained.' R. Jesse further discoursed on the verse: "And there shall be faithfulness in thy times, strength of salvation, wisdom and knowledge, and the fear of the Lord which is his treasure" (Isa. XXXIII, 6). 'We have been taught', he said, 'that whoever devotes himself to the study of the Torah in this world, and is able to appoint set times for it, must do so in "faithfulness", must direct his mind toward the Holy One, blessed be He, must study for Heaven's sake. The words" strength of salvation" indicate that he must fuse Rigour with Mercy. "Wisdom and Knowledge" are two qualities which merge into one another. "The fear of the Lord is his treasure"; to wit, the treasure which contains the qualities just mentioned. For the fear of the Lord collects all those "brooks" (of wisdom), and so becomes the receptacle of all. And when these treasures issue from it they do so under a vigilant count-taking. That process is thus called "faithfulness", as explained. Verily, if herein faithfulness has to be manifested, how much more so in workaday matters! The Holy One, blessed be He, therefore made the whole of Israel know the inwardness of faithfulness in all things that they performed.'

R. Jose and R. Isaac once were walking together when R. Jose remarked: 'The Holy One, blessed be He, indeed chose Bezalel from all Israel for the work of the Tabernacle. Why so?' R. Isaac replied: 'There is something in a name. It has been laid down that God has appointed certain names here on earth to be a crown to men and to enable them to achieve certain things.' R. Jose thereupon said: 'A more recondite explanation is as follows. Judah was of the "left side", but then attached himself to the "right side", and so the Tabernacle was begun from the "left side" and then was joined to the "right side", so that the whole was transformed into the "right". Reuben, on the other hand, began on the "right" but turned aside to the "left", and the other tribes of his company marched together with him, they also belonging to the "left". Hence Bezalel, who was of the tribe of Judah, and thus of the "right side", made the Tabernacle and completed it. As already said, the Holy One, blessed be He, took delight in him and chose him above all the rest [223b] for this work, and gave him wisdom and understanding and knowledge, inasmuch as he already was possessed of all wisdom of heart, as it is written: "and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom" (Ex. XXXI, 6). For the Holy One, blessed be He, does not grant wisdom save to him that already has wisdom.' R. Simeon said: 'The name Bezalel was emblematic, and he was called so in virtue of his wisdom; esoterically the name is composed of b'zel- El (in the Shadow of God). In the verse, "As an apple tree among the trees of the wood ... under its shadow I delighted to sit" (S.S. II, 3), the words, "under its shadow" (b'zilo), are an allusion to Bezalel, who made the Tabernacle, which is a delightful place wherein to sit, for it gives delight to the Community of Israel, and the Community of Israel sits under the shadow of God. Hence, "And Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur", "the son of Uri" denoting one of the right, and "the son of Hur" one of the left. And so, through him, full atonement was made for the sin of the Golden Calf. ALL THE GOLD THAT WAS MADE: that is to say, that was destined for the purpose long before. FOR THE WORK IN ALL THE HOLY WORK; indicating that gold had to be used in the working out of each separate grade, for the reason that completeness can only be reached through the working together of Severity and Mercy. Hence gold had to go into all the work connected with the Sanctuary.

R. Abba, R. Jose, and R. Hizkiah were once sitting together studying the Torah. Said R. Hizkiah to R. Abba: 'Since we see that the Holy One, blessed be He, finds delight in dealing out stern judgement, tempering mercy therewith, why, then, does He withhold it from sinners?' R. Abba answered: 'Many mountains have been uprooted [6] on this question. But the Sacred Lamp (R. Simeon) has revealed a number of truths in regard to this matter. Observe that the severity of judgement in which the Holy One, blessed be He, delights, is of the judgement fully clarified, the judgement that evokes clemency and gladness. But the sinners in this world are the embodiment of a judgement steeped in defilement, a judgement altogether 'displeasing to the Holy One, blessed be He. Hence He desires not to mingle holy judgement with defiled judgement until such time as the latter will be exterminated of itself and the sinner thus will be destroyed from the future world; by that very defiled judgement will he be destroyed from the world.' R. Abba illustrated from the verse: "When the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do blossom; it is that they may be destroyed for ever" (Ps. XCII, 8). 'This verse', he said, 'apart from its more obvious meaning, is to be interpreted as follows. When the wicked spring up, it is but as grass, to wit, like grass that is withered in the parched soil, but revives somewhat at the approach of water, and like a felled tree that can still send forth twigs on either side, but can never regain its former foliage. So will the wicked be destroyed for ever and be altogether uprooted. There is this further truth underlying this verse. It is, that the Holy One, blessed be He, is long-suffering with the wicked in this world, because this world is the portion of the "other side", whereas the world to come belongs to the side of holiness, is the portion of the righteous for them to abide therein adorned with the crown of the glory of their Master. These two sides are the counterparts of one another, the one [224a] the side of holiness, the other that of defilement; the one destined for the righteous, the other for the wicked. Happy are those righteous who have no portion in this world but only in the world to come. Observe that all is predisposed and revealed before the Holy One, blessed be He. Even so was it with Balak and Balaam: although the motive of their action [7] was not the glory of Heaven, yet was all they did duly recorded before the Lord, who did not diminish aught of their reward in this world. Thus, through the power of the forty-two offerings which they brought on the seven altars, Balak and Balaam obtained for the time being dominion over Israel, so that twenty and four thousand Israelites died by the plague besides those who were slain, as we read: "Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them up unto the Lord in face of the sun... . Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor" (Num. XXV, 4-5).' R. Simeon said: 'Observe that the forty-two offerings brought by Balaam and Balak were offerings diverted from the "other side" towards the Holy One, blessed be He, and so the "other side", which is called "curse", had to be repaid these offerings from Israel. This is the inner implication of the verse, "And he (Elisha) looked behind him and saw them" (2 Kings II, 24). That is to say, "behind him", meaning the "other side", which stands behind the Shekinah. He turned "and saw them" (the children), as being meet for punishment; "and cursed them in the name of the Lord" (Ibid.), inducing the Divine Name, as it were, to discharge the debt owing to the "other side", for the latter's offerings which had been diverted to Him. Thus all is made right before the Holy One, blessed be He, and not a single act is lost, whether for good or for evil. Take again the act of David in fleeing from before Saul. That was the cause of all the priests of Nob being destroyed, with the sole exception of Abiathar, the son of Zadok, and this in turn was the cause of many evils that befell Israel. Through it Saul and his sons were killed, and many thousands and myriads fell in Israel. But all the time the punishment to be exacted for that sin was hanging over David, until all his' descendants perished in one day, with the sole exception of Joash,  [8] who was stolen away from among the slain. Yet was that sin against Nob still awaiting expiation, as indicated in the words: "There is still a day for a halt to be made at Nob" (Isa. X, 32). The same balancing of accounts is indicated in the words here, "All the gold ready-made (he'asui) for the work". What signifies the attribute "ready-made"? It signifies that God foresaw that the Israelites would give up their gold for the making of the Golden Calf, and so made them first give up their gold for the erection of the Tabernacle so as to make good the offering of the other gold. For had the Israelites still possessed all their gold at the time they made the Golden Calf, they would hardly have had to "break off the golden rings which were in their ears" (Ex. XXXII, 3), The offering of the gold for the Tabernacle was thus an atonement for the other gold. [9] Hence, "And Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah", of the side of royalty, "made all that the Lord commanded Moses". For all the craftsmanship of the Tabernacle was achieved through these two, Bezalel performing all the work, and Moses afterwards putting the finishing touch. Moses and Bezalel were both parts, as it were, of one whole, Moses being above and Bezalel underneath, since the end of the body is also part of the body.'

R. Jose gave a further exposition of the verse relating to Elisha which says: "And he went up from thence unto Beth-e1; and as he was going up by the way, certain youths (ne'arim), little ones", etc. (2 Kings II, 23). 'The term ne'arim (youths)', he said, 'has been expounded to mean empty, [10] that is, empty of any words of the Torah and of any observance of the precepts of the Torah: "little ones", [224b] to wit, of little faith, and such as were doomed in this world and in the world to come; "came forth out of the city" (Ibid.), that is, they abandoned the mystery of Divine Faith, the term "city" having the same implication here as in the passage, "and I will not enter the city" (Hos. XI, 9). [11] "And he looked behind him and saw them" (2 Kings II, 24); that is, he surveyed their future to see whether they would ever turn back from their evil ways, "and he saw them" as being such that were not ever to bring forth any good seed. Again, "and he saw them", that is, he recognized them as such as had been conceived on the night of the Day of Atonement; [12] straightway, therefore, "he cursed them in the name of the Lord" (Ibid.). Further, "And he turned behind him" signifies that having surveyed them in order to find out whether he would be punished for their sake or not, "he turned behind him", in other words, he found himself turned away and removed from such punishment. Parallel to it is the passage, "and Aaron turned" (Num. XI, 10), signifying that Aaron was turned away and shielded from Miriam's leprosy; "and he saw them", as being destined to perpetrate much evil in Israel. "And he turned behind him" further signifies that he turned his gaze behind the Shekinah, as it says of Lot's wife that she "looked back from behind him" (Gen. XIX, 26), meaning "from behind the Shekinah". Thus Elisha looked behind the Shekinah and discerned that their mothers had conceived them all on the night that. presides over the atonement of the sins of Israel. Straightway "he cursed them in the name of the Lord". "And there came forth two bears" (2 Kings II, 24) -- she bears, as indicated by the feminine numeral sh'tayim, big with offspring, "and tare forty and two children of them" (Ibid.), in correspondence, as has been explained, to the number of offerings brought by Balak.

'EVEN THE GOLD OF WAVING WAS. Why is the gold characterized as that of "waving"; and why is the silver not so characterized, although the brass is, as it says, "the brass of waving"? The reason is that "waving" signifies "rising upward", and thus distinguishes this gold from the lower and inferior gold. For all the grades and Chariots are of the superior plane, symbolized by the "gold of waving", and this same gold, the further it extends downwards the more it loses in colour, in virtue, and in brilliancy. Whilst in the heights above it is goodly gold in the mystery of its brilliancy, below it is the dross of itself and its refuse. No so the silver, of which it is simply written, "And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation". For silver retains its virtues, even in its extension downwards, although it does not remain in the same excellence; whereas gold, in its extension downwards, becomes coarser and coarser. [13] Hence the one had to be waved and raised to the heights, whilst the other had to be extended downwards and into all directions, since it retains its excellence everywhere.'

R. Jose then continued to discourse, citing the verse: "For the Lord God (YHVH ELOHIM) is a sun and a shield; the Lord giveth grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Ps. LXXXIV, 12). 'The "sun", he said, 'contains the mystery of the Divine Name YHVH, wherein is the abode of rest of all the grades, whereas "shield" contains the mystery of the Divine Name ELOHIM; the same is indicated in "I am thy shield" (Gen. XV, 1). The two together, sun and shield, constitute thus the mystery of the Divine Name complete: "the Lord giveth grace and glory", so that the whole should merge into a unity. "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly". This is in antithesis to the passage saying, "But from the wicked their light is withholden" (Job XXXVIII, 15), and is an allusion to the primordial light, of which it is written, "And God saw the light that it was good" (Gen. I, 4), and so the Holy One, blessed be He, put it away and stored it up, as already said. He treasured it up and withdrew it so that the wicked may not enjoy it, neither in this world nor in the world to come. As for the righteous, "no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly", alluding to that primordial light which "God saw that it was good". Thus that light needed not to ascend and be raised aloft, but only to be disclosed and extended, unlike the other, which is of the "left". This accounts for the one being characterized by "of the waving" and not the other. Hence it simply says: "And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was a hundred talents."

'Observe this. The "right side" is ever present in the world to sustain it, and to afford it light [225a] and blessing. Hence the priest, inasmuch as he is of the "right side", is always in readiness to bless the people. For it is from the "right side" that all the blessings of the world do spring, and the priest takes by right the first share. The priest has thus been assigned to bless both the upper world and the lower. Observe that when the priest spreads his hands at the time he blesses the people, the Shekinah comes and hovers over him and endows him with power. [14] When blessing, the priest raises his right hand above the left, so as to cause the right to prevail over the left. All the grades over which he spreads his hands are thus blessed from the source of all things, from the well called "Righteous". The source of all is the "future world", the sublime source which illumines all faces, whence are kindled all lamps. It has a counterpart in the source and spring of the well whence all the lower lamps and the lower lights are kindled and radiate. So one corresponds to the other. Hence, when the priest spreads out his hands and begins to pronounce the blessing over the people, the celestial benedictions flowing from the celestial source at once kindle the lamps, all faces are illumined, and the Community of Israel is adorned with celestial crowns, and all those blessings flow down from on high to below.

'Observe, then, that Moses gave the instructions and Bezalel carried them out, the two being in the esoterical relation of body and final part of body, which is the holy covenant symbol. The Tabernacle was thereby made the centre of the increase of Love and Unity. And the whole was performed in the mystery of the "right side". Hence, wherever the "right side" dominates the Evil Eye has no power. We thus read, "And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation." [15] For that silver came from the right, and so all and everything were taken count of and numbered.'

R. Isaac put the following question to R. Simeon: 'Seeing that, as we have learnt, no blessing dwells in whatever is numbered or measured, why were all things connected with the Tabernacle made to be numbered?' R. Simeon replied: 'Wherever holiness abides, there, if the act of numbering proceeds from the side of holiness, blessing will abide continuously, and not pass away. This we learn from the tithe, which is a cause of blessing, the reason being that the act of counting is performed for a sacred purpose. How much more so, then, should that be with the Tabernacle, which was a sacred edifice and derived from the side of holiness! But it is not so with worldly matters, such as are not derived from the side of holiness; no blessing rests upon them if they are numbered. For then the "other side", that is, the Evil Eye, may obtain dominion over them; and wherever the Evil Eye rules there blessings cannot reach. Contrariwise, in holy affairs, through measuring and numbering blessings continuously increase. Hence, "And the silver of them that were counted of the congregation"; indeed, "counted", without fear of the Evil Eye, without fear of any evil consequences, as the blessings from above rested there upon all. Observe, likewise, that no evil eye had any power over the seed of Joseph, for the reason that Joseph came from the "right side", and this was the reason that the Tabernacle was made by Bezalel, who belonged to the same grade as Joseph, the grade exhibited in the purity of the holy covenant symbol.'

R. Abba and R. Aha and R. Jose were walking on the way from Tiberias to Sepphoris, when they caught sight of R. Eleazar, who was coming up in the company of R. Hiya. Said R. Abba: 'Truly, we are now going to have the company of the Shekinah.' They waited for them until they came up with them. Then R. Eleazar cited the verse: "The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Ps. XXXIV, 16). 'This verse', he said, 'presents a difficulty. It cannot mean that God's providence cares for the righteous for to endow them with the goods of this world, since, indeed, we see so many righteous in this world who cannot procure even so much sustenance as would satisfy the ravens of the air. [225b] But there is a recondite meaning here. Observe that all beings of this world are known in the upper world, either to one side or to the other side. Those of the side of holiness are known to that side, whose watchful providence is ever towards them. Similarly those belonging to the side of defilement are known to that side, being under its continuous care. Now, when a man is under the care of the side of holiness, the "other side" will never come near him and is powerless to thrust him out of his place, or of whatever he is doing. Thus, "The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous", etc., so that the "other side" is powerless to obtain rule over him. Now, ' concluded R. Eleazar, 'the support of heaven is here with us, we are watched over from on high, and no power from the "other side", no evil thing, can rule over you.' Said R. Abba: 'Behold, we have learned that wherever the holy side hovers, there, despite its association with any act of numbering, blessings will never cease.' Said R. Eleazar: 'Assuredly it is so.' 'Now', rejoined R. Abba, 'behold, Israel is holy and comes from the side of holiness, as we read: "Israel is the Lord's hallowed portion" (Jer. II, 3); also, "ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. XIX, 2). Why, then, when David took a census of Israel did death rage among the people, as Scripture says: "So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed" (2 Sam. XXII, 15)?' R. Eleazar said in reply: 'This was because he did not take from them shekels as a ransom in accordance with the injunction, "then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; and there be no plague among them when thou numberest them" (Ex. XXX, 12). For that which is holy should give a holy ransom, and that holy ransom was not taken from them at the time. Observe that Israel is holy and not meet for numbering, and hence a ransom had to be taken from them, and this could be numbered whilst they themselves were not to be numbered. For holiness is the essence of the highest of grades; and just as to that highest degree of holiness there is attached a lower degree [16] that admits of number and computation, so Israel, "the Lord's hallowed portion", have to give as ransom something of another degree of holiness, that admits of computation. Esoterically speaking, Israel is the tree that stands in the innermost. The ransom is of another kind of holiness, standing outside and admitting of computation. The latter is thus a shield to the former.'

The company then pursued their journey, and R. Eleazar began to discourse on the verse: "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered" (Hos. II, 1). 'The comparison to the sand of the sea', he said, 'is of a twofold aspect. First, just as when the sea rages and its wave, hurl themselves forward to overwhelm the world, so soon as they encounter the sand of the shore their force is broken and they recede and rage no more, so the nations rage and fume and seek to overwhelm and flood the world; but when they behold Israel in close attachment to the Holy One, blessed be He, they recede, broken and powerless. Again, as the sand of the sea cannot be numbered or measured, so is Israel. Observe that there is somewhere a measuring hidden away and undisclosed, and similarly a hidden and undisclosed numbering, that measuring and that numbering upholding the upper world and the lower just because the basis of that measuring and of that numbering is beyond anyone's knowledge. This constitutes the all-in-all Divine Faith. Now, Israel on earth does not fall within the scope of number save through the side of something extraneous to themselves; thus it is their ransom that falls within the scope of number. Hence, when Israel are about to be numbered, [226a] a ransom has to be taken from them, as already said. Thus, when David took a census of Israel without having taken from them a ransom, wrath was provoked and there perished of Israel many hosts and legions. This, then, is the significance of the words, "And the silver of them that were counted of the congregation ... for every one that passed over to them that are numbered". It was all consecrated to the work of the Tabernacle. It has been stated that the talents represented one category of number, whilst the shekels represented another category. For there are higher existences who come within a superior kind of number; and there are others who belong to a lower kind.'

R. Eleazar further discoursed on the verse; "A song of ascents; of Solomon. Except the Lord build the house, thy labour is in vain", etc. (Ps. CXXVII, 1). 'This verse', he said, 'was uttered by Solomon at the time when, having begun to build the Temple he became aware that the work proceeded of itself, as it were, in the hands of the labourers. "Except the Lord", he thus said, "build the house", etc. This alludes to the statement that "In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Gen. I, I), and tells us that the Holy One, blessed be He, created and garnished this world and fitted it out with all its requirements, thus making it a House. "They labour in vain that build it": this alludes to the streams that come forth and enter the House in order to furnish it with all its needs; try as they may, yet except the Lord of the supernal world make the House and put it in proper order, they labour in vain. "Except the Lord keep the city", etc. (Ibid.). This is in harmony with the verse: "The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year" (Deut. XI, 12), indicating the providence by which it is guarded on all sides. And though it is also written, "Behold, it is the couch of Solomon; threescore mighty men are about it" (S.S. III, 7), all guarding it, this is "because of dread in the night" (Ibid. 8), to wit, the dread of Gehinnom that confronts it and tries to annihilate it. All thus are standing guard round about it. [17] When the Thought is illumined, it remains undisclosed and unknowable, but it forms a centre of energies and of expansion in all directions. One outcome of that expansion is the Supernal World, the world of interrogation, as it were, or of the Supreme Utterance, the world called "Who?", alluded to in "Lift up your eyes on high, and see: Who hath created these?", or in other words, the creative utterance, the Who?, created these; but subsequently it expanded and became the sea, symbolic of the lowest grade, and created a lower world after the pattern of the [226b] upper, the two being the counterparts of each other. Hence the guarding of the universe is from above downwards, that is, from the upper world which was formed by the expansion of the Thought. We thus understand the meaning of the passage, saying, "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman watcheth in vain", "the watchman" referring to the watchman of Israel, [18] since protection depends not on him but on the higher world. Note that the blue employed in the work of the Tabernacle symbolized the mystery of the upper world, the blue and the purple together symbolized the knitting together of the upper world and the lower.

AND OF THE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY AND FIVE SHEKELS HE MADE HOOKS FOR THE PILLARS, AND OVERLAID THEIR CAPITALS, ETC. We have learned that these shekels escaped the memory of Moses, and he could not recall what use he had made of them until a Voice went forth and declared: "And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars", etc. In this connection, R. Hizkiah began a discourse on the verse: "While the king sat at his table, my spikenard sent forth its fragrance" (S.S. I, 12). 'This', he said, 'is an allusion to the Holy One, blessed be He, at the time when He gave the Torah to Israel, when He came to Sinai accompanied by multitudes of holy legions and all the supernal holy beings. The Torah was then given in the midst of flaming fire, itself being written in white fire upon black fire, the letters floating aloft in the air. The first letter of the Torah divided itself into seven hundred and seventy-five parts facing in all directions, all of which were visible aloft in the air within the letter Vau, the letter which was traced out on every side of the world. These Vaus were upheld by pillars and the pillars were suspended by a miracle with all the Vaus on top of them. For the essence of the Torah is based on the Vau, and these Vaus, which constitute the mystery of the faith of the Torah, are all based on those pillars, which constitute in their turn the mysteries of the books of the Prophets. The supreme Vau is symbolic of the audible Voice, symbolic of the foundation of the Torah, for the Torah emerged from that inner Voice, called Great Voice, of which we read: "These words the Lord spake, etc., with a great voice, and it went on no more" (Deut. V, 22). Observe that that Great Voice is the root of all things, and is the essence of the Holy Divine Name. It is for this reason that it has been laid down that a man may not greet his friend before he has recited his prayer. This is the recondite significance of the verse: "He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him" (Prov. XXVII, 14); the prohibition only applies to a blessing that is joined with that which is emblematic of the "great voice", which is the main part of the Divine Name. The mystery of the Torah proceeds, then, from the Great Voice, which is identical with "the King", and "whilst the King sat at His table" alludes to the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. "My spikenard sent forth [227a] its fragrance" refers to the Community of Israel, who said: "All that the Lord hath spoken will we do, and obey" (Ex. XXIV, 7); by "the King" is meant the Most High King, as expounded.

'When the Holy One, blessed be He, was about to bring a flood on the world in order to destroy all flesh, He said to Noah: "It behoves thee to hide thyself, and not to be seen by the Destroyer lest he obtain dominion over thee and none will be able to shield thee." Subsequently, when the sacrifices brought by Noah were offered up, a fragrance was diffused in the world; but not so sweet as when, later on, Israel stood at Mount Sinai. Then the world was truly filled with a fragrance, and thus the Destroyer was no more to be seen. Indeed, the Holy One, blessed be He, was about to remove altogether the Destroyer from the world, when Israel, after the lapse of only a few days. committed a sin in making the Golden Calf; thus Scripture says: "And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb" (Ex. XXXIII. 6), "their ornaments" signifying the mysteries of the Divine Name with which the Holy One adorned them, but· which were now removed from them. The Destroyer thus regained power over the world, inflicting punishment over it. as before.' R. Jose said: 'At the flood. what was there for the Destroyer to do, seeing that it was the waters that prevailed? The fact is that no punishment is ever meted out to the world but the Destroyer is in the midst of it all, busying himself among the judgements executed. Likewise here, while the flood wrought havoc, the Destroyer went about in its midst. and indeed "Flood" was his name. The Holy One, blessed be He, thus admonished Noah to hide himself and not let himself be seen.'

AND OF THE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY AND FIVE SHEKELS HE MADE HOOKS (vavim) FOR THE PILLARS. R. Eleazar said: 'Why vavim (lit. Vaus)? Because the pillars were in the shape of the letter vau; the pillars were of silver. but their capitals were overlaid with gold. For every Vau is of the side of Mercy, and these were all known on high by number; and it is because they belonged to the side of Mercy that they are called Vavim (Vaus); and all besides depended on them. Now each Vau (vau-shaped pillar) consisted of both gold and silver (symbolic of Rigour and Mercy), and they were called "pillars", for the reason that they stood outside and underneath the Body.' Said R. Isaac: 'I was in doubt whether the work referred to in our verse was sacred or profane; for, indeed, there is ground for thinking that it speaks here of profane work from the occurrence of the word "thousand". which in the analogous passage, "Thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand" (S.S. VIII, 12), undoubtedly speaks of mundane things.' R. Eleazar said in reply: 'Not so. If these shekels were profane, no Vavim (vau-shaped pillars) would have been made of them. Further (in the Song of Songs), it only mentions "the thousand", no more, whereas here it is written: "the thousand seven hundred seventy and five". Now, what is profane has no share in the side of holiness, but belongs entirely to the "other side", to that of impurity. Thereon is based the separation (habdalah) which we have to make between the holy and the profane. Yet, for all that and despite their separateness, the holy contains a particle [227b] of the "left side". Thus, "Thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand", signifies the thousand days of unholiness, to wit, the days of Exile (galuth). A thousand days there are of holiness, and, correspondingly, a thousand days of the "other side". The Companions have thus in regard to this remarked that the days of Exile alluded to are a thousand years; and although Israel may continue in exile longer than a thousand years, yet that will only be an extension of those thousand years designated by the term "thousand days". Hence it has been declared that the term Solomon (Sh'lama = possessor of peace), in the whole of the Song of Songs, is divine, with the exception of this one which is profane. Now, "the thousand", in reference to the Tabernacle, alludes to things holy, all the works of the Tabernacle being holy; hence of these shekalim "he made hooks for the pillars". Observe that it has been laid down that the letter vau, as we have stated elsewhere, symbolizes Mercy, and so wherever it is joined to the Divine Name it indicates an exercise of Mercy. We read, for instance, "And the Lord (V-YHVH) caused to rain upon Sodom" (Gen. XIX, 24), preceded by, "And the Lord (V-YHVH) said, Shall I hide from Abraham ...?" (Ibid. XVIII, 17), indicating an exercise of Mercy and Rigour at one and the same time. This explains why, in the account of the Flood, the name Elohim (God) is used throughout, but never "and the Lord" (V-YHVH). [19]

'It is written, "While the king sat at his table"; to wit, in the blissful company of Upper Paradise, which receives its plenitude of beatitudes by an undisclosed channel, and then distributes it into certain brooks; "My spikenard sent forth its fragrance" is an allusion to the hinder sea, which created the lower world after the pattern of the upper, so that a sweet savour of the upper world was diffused and a supernal light radiated throughout. Observe that when the fragrance of that spikenard is wafted on high, it is accompanied by an embrace of love, and the spikenard ascends to attach itself above; and all the sacred Chariots emit a fragrance that is woven into a crown for their adornment. Those sacred Chariots are called "maidens of song", alluded to in "upon Alamoth (maidens) of song" (Ps. XLVI, 1), as well as in "and maidens without number". Of the same is written: "Is there any number of his armies" (Job XXV, 3).

HOOKS (vau-shaped tops) FOR THE PILLARS. The vau is symbolic of the male principle. All that exists and ascends with the dignity of anointing on high is of the male principle, which is typified by the vau, the symbol of heaven, which is male; whereas all below are called female. Hence all that proceed from the "left side" are of the side of the female; and it is they who have been appointed to preside over song, and continuously intone chants. This is indicated in "upon the Alamoth (maidens) of song". These come under the mystic symbolism of the letter he, and they bring forth many hosts after their kind through the mystic symbolism of the letter vau, the letter symbolic of the male principle upon whom falls the task of providing food for the female. Hence all those vavim (vaus) that Bezalel made over the pillars that represented the female principle. These spring from the mystery of the number thousand, which is a complete number, as well as seven hundred, also a complete number, and, further, from the number five and from seventy, all of which represent together one mystery. Thus, out of that mystery, and that number, he made the vavim (vaus); so all was made with a deep symbolism, and according to a certain calculation.' [228a]

AND THE BRASS OF THE WAVING WAS SEVENTY TALENTS. Said R. Judah: 'All this descends here below in the supernal image, containing the mystery of Faith. To the same pattern did Nebuchadnezzar make the image that he erected.' R. Jose said: 'It was not the image he made that was after the same pattern, but the image that he saw in his dream, an image made of gold, of silver and brass. Now, iron and clay were not worthy to enter into the work of the Tabernacle, but only those three metals. There is a recondite significance in the triad of metals. There were other materials that formed into tetrads, as the four fabrics consisting of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, or the four rows of stones (in the breastplate).' R. Judah said: 'Some of them formed into threes, some into fours, some into twos, and again others were kept single. Nevertheless, an Order proper consists of a triad. [20] [228b]

'The world is divided between forty-five varieties of light, seven of which are assigned to the seven abysses. Each light impinges on its Abyss, where there is a great rolling of stones, and penetrates into and pierces those stones so that water issues from them. The light impinges on the four sides of the Abyss, and then each light becomes entwined with the next and they join together and divide the waters, and all the seven lights overwhelm the seven Abysses, and hover over the darkness of the Abysses so that the light and darkness intermingle. Then the waters rush up and down, and there is a fusion of light and darkness and waters, from which emerge lights in which darkness is not intermingled. The lights then impinge on each other, with the result that they split into seventy-five channels of the Abyss along which waters course. Each channel roars with a sound peculiar to itself, so that there is a quivering of all the Abysses. At the sound of the roaring each Abyss calls to its neighbour, saying: "Divide thy waters". Thus Scripture says: "Deep calleth unto deep at the voice of thy cataracts" (Ps. XLII, 8). Underneath these there are the three hundred and sixty-five veins, some white, some black, some red, all of which intertwine and fuse into one colour. These veins are woven into seventeen nets, each of which is called a net of veins, and descend to the nethermost parts of the Abyss. Underneath these there are two nets of the appearance of iron and another two nets of the appearance of brass. Over above them there are two thrones, one on the right and one on the left. All these nets join into one, and water flows from these channels and enters the nets. As for the two thrones, one is the throne of the black firmament and the other of the variegated firmament. When the nets ascend, they go by the way of the throne of the black firmament, and when they descend they go by the way of the throne of the variegated firmament. The throne of the black firmament is on the right, and the throne of the variegated firmament is on the left. When the nets ascend by the throne of the black firmament, the throne of the firmament of the left lowers itself, and they descend by it, as the two thrones balance one another. Thus all the nets descend by means of them and enter into the nethermost parts of the Abyss. Then one of the thrones rises above all the Abysses and the other throne lowers itself underneath all the Abysses. [229a] Between these two thrones whirl themselves all the Abysses, and all those channels are fixed between these two thrones. There are seventy-five channels, seven of which are higher than the rest, which, however, are attached to them, and all of them pass through the wheels of the two thrones on either side. Their waters course upwards and downwards. The downward-coursing waters form caves in the Abysses and cleave them asunder, while the upward-coursing waters enter into the caverns of the stones and continue rising until they fill them, which happens once in seven years. So far the seven varieties of lights with their profound symbolism.

'The "brass of waving", previously mentioned, represents the so-called "Brass-Mountains", and the "sockets of brass" represent the gates through which entrance is made to the King. Now of that brass were made all the ministering vessels of the altar. They are, indeed, ministers to the altar, because when the souls of men come up on the altar it is they that execute the service of the altar, and help it to perform its function, and hence they are named "vessels of the altar". All those "pins of the Tabernacle", and vessels, are specified by name as vessels of service, to serve in the Sanctuary. Hence they all stand as appointed chieftains and Chariot legions and heavenly spirits, each in its rank. They are, moreover, all numbered, their numbers being kept within certain Sacred Palaces. There is an interaction of gold and gold, silver and silver, brass and brass. The brass here below derives its power from the supernal brass, and so with the rest. Besides, all those varieties are interfused with each other, the clasps of gold binding together the curtains, the clasps of brass binding the Tabernacle, all being ranged opposite each other. Moreover, the clasps scintillated in the Tabernacle as the stars scintillate in the firmament, the fifty golden clasps and the fifty brazen clasps in rows facing each other. Also, out of the supernal light there was emitted a spark which penetrated within a dark speculum, that spark being a fusion of all colours of light and called "purple" (argaman). Then that "purple" impinged on that non-luminous light, causing it to emit another dull spark. The two were fused, and out of the fusion were formed the sacred robes in which Michael the High Priest was attired. When thus attired in these robes of glory he enters to minister in the Sanctuary, but not otherwise, just as we read of Moses that he "entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mount" (Ex. XXIV, 18). We have learnt that Moses had first to attire himself in the cloud as in a robe, and only then could he go up into the mount, not otherwise. So the High Priest could not enter the Sanctuary unless robed in the priestly garments. And it is because they are emanations of the supernal mysteries, and are made after the supernal pattern, that they are called "residual garments" (bigde ha-s'rad), inasmuch as they were made of what has been left over of the supernal robes, of the residue of the ethereal celestial splendours, of the "blue" and "purple", the hues of the mystery of the Divine Name, called the Name Perfect, to wit, YHVH ELOHIM, as also of "scarlet red", thus comprising the colours, red, blue, and purple. Only thus clad could he enter into the innermost without being thrust out. All was made with a mystic significance, so that all things should bear the supernal pattern. Hence it is written: "The residual garments for ministering in the holy place" (Ibid. XXXIX, 41), for it is only when the supernal colours reside in them that Scripture says of them, "the holy garments [229b] are they" (Lev. XVI, 4.) Of Israel, also, Scripture says: "Israel is the Lord's hallowed portion, the first-fruits of the increase" (Jer. II, 3), thus calling Israel holy, for the reason that in Israel are to be seen all shades of colour, as displayed by Priests, Levites, and Israelites; and these are the colours which may be exhibited in the inner holy place.

'Observe that man's soul does not ascend to appear before the Holy King unless she is first worthy to be attired in the supernal raiment. Likewise, the soul does not descend into this world until clad in the garments of this world. Similarly, the holy heavenly angels, of whom it is written, "Who makest thy angels into winds and thy ministers into flaming fire" (Ps. CIV, 4), when they have to execute a message in this world do not come down to it before they clothe themselves in the garments of this world. The attire thus has always to be in harmony with the place visited; and the soul, as we have said, can only ascend when clad in ethereal raiment. Adam in the Garden of Eden was attired in supernal raiment, of celestial radiancy. As soon as he was driven from the Garden of Eden and had need of forms suited to this world, "the Lord God", Scripture says, "made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin ('or), and clothed them" (Gen. III, 21). Formerly they were garments of light ('or), to wit, of the celestial light in which Adam ministered in the Garden of Eden. For, inasmuch as it is the resplendency of the celestial light that ministers in the Garden of Eden, when first man entered into the Garden, the Holy One, blessed be He, clothed him first in the raiment of that light. Otherwise he could not have entered there. When driven out, however, he had need of other garments; hence "garments of skin". So here also "they made residual garments to minister in the holy place", so as to enable the wearer to enter the Sanctuary. Now, it has been already taught that a man's good deeds done in this world draw from the celestial resplendency of light a garment with which he may be invested when in the next world he comes to appear before the Holy One, blessed be He. Apparelled in that raiment, he is in a state of bliss and feasts his eyes on the radiant effulgence. So Scripture says: "To behold the graciousness of the Lord, and to visit early in his temple" (Ps. XXVII, 4). Man's soul is thus attired in the raiments of both worlds, the lower and the upper, thereby achieving perfection. Of this Scripture says: "Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name"; to wit, in this world -- "The upright shall dwell in thy presence" (Ibid. CXL, 14); namely, in the other world.'

AND HE MADE THE EPHOD OF GOLD. Said R. Jose: 'The ephod and the breastplate were inseparable, and we have laid down that in that place are fixed the twelve stones which bear the names of the twelve sons of Israel, to which, in their turn, correspond to the twelve supernal divisions. [21] This recondite symbolism underlies the passage, "Whither the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, as a testimony unto Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord" (Ps. CXXII, 4). The reference here is to the twelve supernal tribes, they being the tribes of YH (the Lord), a name that is a testimony to Israel.' R. Hiya said: 'The term "tribes" is repeated here twice: first in allusion to the tribes here on earth, and secondly the supernal Tribes. "A testimony to Israel" bears esoteric reference to the supreme Divine Name that is called "testimony", of which Scripture says, "and my testimony that I shall teach them" (Ibid. CXXXII, 12). Now, these supernal twelve holy tribes were symbolized by the twelve sacred stones. For the twelve tribes below were the counterpart of those on high, and their names were all engraven on those stones, so that they were carried by the High Priest. When Jacob was on his way to Haran, Scripture says of him, "and he took some of the stones of the place, and put them under his head" (Gen. XXVIII, 11). These were the twelve sacred stones, which were made into one, as we read later, "and this stone" (Ibid. 22). All the twelve stones were absorbed in the one supreme sacred stone that is over them all, of which it is thus written, "and this stone [230a] which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house" (Ibid.). Hence the High Priest had to put them on his heart as a perpetual reminder of them, as Scripture says: "And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel ... upon his heart ... for a memorial before the Lord continually" (Ex. XXVIII, 29). In all this the number twelve is of recondite significance: there are twelve stones of a supernal order in the upper world, concealed in a profound and holy mystery. These form the essence of the Torah; proceeding from a small, still voice, [22] as said elsewhere. There is an order of another twelve hidden in a lower world, [23] after the pattern of the former, but which proceed from a different voice, designated Stone, as hinted in the words "from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel" (Ibid. XLIX, 24). This is also the inner significance of the verse: "And thither were all the flocks gathered, and they rolled the stone ... and put the stone again ... in its place" (Ibid. XIX, 3). By the "stone" here is meant the Shekinah, called "tried stone", "the stone of Israel", which Israel roll along and take with them into exile, "and then put the stone again in its place". And so, after the name of the Shekinah all Israel are termed "stones". There are, moreover, stones and stones. There are stones which form the foundation of a house, of which Scripture says, "And the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with hewn stone" (I Kings v, 31); and there are precious supernal stones, to wit, those twelve stones. These are ranged in four orders, of three each, toward the four directions of the world. After the same pattern was the arrangement of the standards in the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, where the twelve tribes were formed into groups of three each on each of the four cardinal points. Observe that when the High Priest was wearing the twelve stones fixed on the breastplate and the ephod, the Shekinah hovered over him. These twelve stones had engraved on them the names of the twelve tribes, each stone bearing the name of one of them. The letters were sunk, but when the stones shone they stood out and became luminous, spelling out what was required. Now, in all the names of the tribes the letters heth and teth were not to be found, for the reason that the tribes were without sin (HeT).' Said R. Hezekiah: 'This is reasonable as regards the heth, but not so in regard to the teth, since it is the initial of tob (good); and, further, we have learned that the letter teth seen in a dream is a good omen, since at the beginning of the Torah it is written, "And the Lord saw the light that it was good" (Gen. I, 4). Why, then, is that letter absent from the names of the tribes?' R. Hiya said in reply: 'It is because these two letters adjoin each other (in the alphabet), and, further, the teth is a letter hidden and withdrawn, as it is symbolic of the light that is above other lights, of the light of which it is written, "And the Lord saw the light that it was good". Hence it is the light of all the tribes together, and it could not be engraven on any of them. And, in addition, all the twelve tribes sprang from a certain undisclosed Apartment which is symbolized by the letter teth, and so, symbolizing as it does the undisclosed, this letter could not be made to be seen among them. Observe that all those stones possessed miraculous powers. Thus, when they became luminous, the face of the High Priest was likewise illumined, and at the same time the luminous letters stood out. The shining of the High Priest's face was a sign for all that the luminous letters were of a favourable significance; thereby it was known whether the High Priest was righteous or not.'

R. Abba was a frequent visitor to R. Simeon. He said to him once: 'In regard to the Urim and Thummim which were to be put in the breastplate (Ex. XXVIII, 30), we have learned that they were called Urim (= lights) because their words gave a clear and direct answer to the questions directed to them; and Thummim (tamim = perfect, complete) because their words were fulfilled to perfection. [24] Now, there seems to be something further to know in regard to this recondite subject.' Said R. Simeon: 'Assuredly so. Thus, the breastplate and the ephod correspond to the Urim and Thummim, and these again to the phylacteries (tefillin) and the knot of the phylacteries.' R. Simeon here cited the verse: "And thou shalt see my back, but my face shall not be seen" (Ibid. XXXIII, 23). 'That means', he said, 'that the Holy One, blessed be He, made Moses see the knot of the phylacteries, [25] but not the phylacteries themselves. "My face" points to the phylacteries that contain the sublime mystery of the Divine Name, [230b] whereas "my back" involves the mystery contained in the knot of the phylacteries. As is well known to the Companions, the former denotes the shining speculum, the latter the dull speculum. So correspondingly Urim signifies the words illuminated, whereas Thummim points to the words in their fulfilment. The same mystical correlation is found between "voice" and "speech": for voice illumines the speech to be uttered, whereas speech brings the word to completion, and the two are indissolubly fused one with each other. The breastplate and the ephod', he concluded, 'correspond thus respectively to the "face" and the "back", the two being one and inseparable.' Said R. Abba: 'If that is so, and if he who separates them is called "one who separateth between familiar friends" (Prov. XVI, 28), how are we to explain the verse: "And it came to pass, when Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand" (I Sam. XXIII, 6), where the ephod is mentioned without the breastplate?' R. Simeon replied: 'The explanation assuredly is that the nearer a thing comes to the realm of the hidden and undisclosed, the less is it made mention of. So, contrariwise, what is nearer the realm of things revealed is to that degree more often mentioned, whereby the undisclosed is all the more covered, as it were. On the same principle, the Divine Name Sublime, the essence of the hidden and unrevealed, is never uttered, a name denoting the revealed being substituted for it. Thus the Name signifying the unrevealed is YHVH, but that signifying the revealed is ADNY (ADoNaY). The former is the way the Divine Name is written, the latter the way it is read. Thus it is throughout the Torah, which contains two sides: a disclosed and an undisclosed. And these two aspects are found in all things, both in this world and in the upper world.'

R. Simeon here adduced the verse: "Then said they unto him: Tell us, we pray thee, inasmuch as (ba'asher) thou art the cause that this evil is upon us, what is thine occupation? ... Then the men feared God exceedingly ..." (Jonah I, 8-16). 'There is much', he said, 'to ponder over in this text. For, indeed, the men put to him their question with deep wisdom. Thus they wished to find out whether Jonah was of the seed of Joseph, at the sight of whose coffin the sea straightway divided itself and became dry land. So Scripture says: "The sea saw and fled" (Ps. CXIV, 3); that is, it saw him of whom it is written, "and he fled and got him out" (Gen. XXXIX, 12), and at once "the Jordan turned backward" (Ps. Ibid.). The men thus used the expression "inasmuch as" (ba'ashet), thereby pointing to Joseph, who used a similar expression when he said, "inasmuch as thou art his wife" (Gen. XXXIX, 9); they thus said in effect, "If thou art of the seed of Joseph, pray that the sea may cease from its raging." They further used the expression "to whom?" (l'mi), an allusion to Jacob, in connection with whom it is written, "to whom belongest thou?" (Ibid. XXII, 17); they as much as said: "If thou art of the seed of Jacob who sent his message to Esau by holy angel messengers and in that way was saved from the calamity that threatened him, then pray to the Master that He may send His angel to save us from this calamity that threatens us, and if not" -- they further asked -- "What is thine occupation?" With what dost thou daily busy thyself? "and whence comest thou?" that is, Who were thy forefathers? "What is thy country?" Is it a country deserving punishment? Thus all the questions put by them had a good reason. "And he said unto them: I am a Hebrew, that is, from the seed of Abraham the Hebrew who sanctified the name of his master day by day; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven", etc. They put their questions, cloaking their real meaning, but he answered them without disguise. Scripture then continues: "Then were the men exceedingly afraid." It was the Divine Name they heard that made them fear; for they all were aware of the miracles and mighty deeds that the Holy One, blessed be He, wrought on the sea. He further told them that he fled from the presence of the Holy One, blessed be He, and they thus asked him: "What is this that thou hast done?" that is, Why hast thou transgressed thy Master's command? Note that all these men, after they saw the miracles and mighty deeds that the Holy One, blessed be He, wrought for Jonah on the sea, became proselytes. For they all saw Jonah fall into the sea, [231a] and the fish come up and swallow him; and then, when the same great fish emerged on the surface in the presence of them all and vomited him on dry land, they came up to him and declared themselves proselytes. This is borne out by the words of Jonah, saying: "They that regard lying vanities will forsake their own mercy" (Jonah II, 9). Observe, further, that they all became righteous proselytes and rose to be sages of the Law of the highest rank. For the Holy One, blessed be He, found delight in them, as in all those who come near to Him and sanctify His Name openly; for when His disclosed Name is sanctified, His. undisclosed Name ascends His Throne of Glory. So Scripture says, "but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel" (Lev. XXII, 32).'

AND THEY BOUND THE BREASTPLATE BY THE RINGS THEREOF UNTO THE RINGS OF THE EPHOD WITH A THREAD OF BLUE. Why blue? Because it is an all-uniting colour, and thus is symbolic of the supernal mystery. "A golden bell and a pomegranate ... and the sound thereof shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord" (Ex. XXVIII, 34-35); it was necessary for the sound to be heard so that blessings might rest on the world by reason of the blessing pronounced by the priest on all. The "pomegranate" is a symbol of plenty, on account of its multitude of seeds.

AND HE MADE THE ROBE OF THE EPHOD OF WOVEN WORK, ALL OF BLUE. The significance of the blue colour consists in its being a reflection of the light of the Divine Throne, a light which is one with the white light. Said R. Simeon: 'All the priestly robes were emblematic of the supernal mystery, having been made after the celestial pattern. It may here be asked: Seeing that Michael was the High Priest and belonged to the "right side", why is Gabriel referred to as "the man clothed in linen" (Dan. XII, 7), seeing that such robes could only be worn by the High Priest? But the truth is that the "left" is always embraced within the "right", and hence Gabriel (although of the left) was clothed in these robes. Furthermore, Gabriel is the messenger for this world, hence he had to put on the garments of this world. The same has already been explained in regard to the soul which, whilst in the upper world, has to put on heavenly garments, but in descending below assumes lowly garments. Observe that the "robe of the ephod" was to cover the ephod when he put in on. It is written: "Thou hast formed me behind and before, and laid thy hand upon me" (Ps. CXXXIX, 4.). Observe that at the creation of Adam the Holy One, blessed be He, made him male and female together, female behind and male before. Then He sawed them asunder and tricked out the woman and brought her to Adam; and when they were thus brought face to face, love was multiplied in the world and they brought forth offspring, a thing that was not yet before. But when Adam and his wife sinned and the serpent had intercourse with Eve and injected into her his venom, she bore Cain, whose image was in part derived from on high and in part from the venom of the unclean and low side. Hence it was the Serpent who brought death into the world, in that it was his side that was the cause of it. It is the way of the serpent to lie in wait to slay, and thus the one that sprang from him followed the same course. So Scripture says: "And it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (Gen. IV, 8). We find it written in the Ancient Books that in the act of slaying Abel, Cain bit him repeatedly [231b] after the manner of the serpent, until he caused his soul to quit him. Abel was thus slain and his body resolved into its elements. Had not Cain been in part the offspring of the unclean side he would not have behaved so toward his brother. Adam, therefore, having seen Abel slain and Cain banished, said to himself: "Why henceforth should I bear children?" He then separated himself from his wife for a hundred and thirty years, during which period unclean female spirits conceived from him and bore spirits and demons, [26] so-called "plagues of the children of men" (2 Sam. VII, 14). After that, Adam became jealous, rejoined his wife and begat Seth as we read, "and [he] begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth" (Gen. V, 3); emphatically "in his own likeness, after his image", which did not happen before, that is, with the offspring born before that time. For previously intercourse with Adam was of another kind, but now the Holy One, blessed be He, brought Eve all beautified into the presence of Adam and they joined together face to face. Hence it is written, "this one shall be called woman" (Ibid. II, 23), to wit, this one and not any other. Observe that the ephod and breastplate were "behind and before", and so the Priest, when clothed in them, resembled the supernal pattern. As has already been said, when his face was illumined and the letters stood out brightly, then a message was thereby conveyed to him. For this reason the breastplate and the ephod were tied together; and although they had distinct functions, they had the same symbolism and were therefore united by the four rings that held them together, back and front. They thus symbolize the Chariots which are united from below to those above, and the whole symbolizes the Ofanim and Hayoth (Wheels and Sacred Beasts). It has already been explained that the verse, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth", means that the lower world was created after the pattern of the upper. Now, the Tabernacle below was likewise made after the pattern of the supernal Tabernacle in all its details. For the Tabernacle in all its works embraced all the works and achievements of the upper world and the lower, whereby the Shekinah was made to abide in the world, both in the higher spheres and the lower. Similarly, the Lower Paradise is made after the pattern of the Upper Paradise, and the latter contains all the varieties of forms and images to be found in the former. Hence the work of the Tabernacle, and that of heaven and earth, come under one and the same mystery. It is written: "Lift up your eyes on high, and see: who hath created these? He that bringeth out their hosts by number .... Not one faileth" (Isa. XL, 26). Are we to imagine from this that by lifting his eyes upwards a man can know and see what is not permitted to know and see? No. The true meaning of the passage is that whoever desires to reflect on and to obtain a knowledge of the works of the Holy One, blessed be He, let him lift his eyes upwards and gaze on the myriads of the hosts and legions of existences there, each different from the other, each mightier than the other. Then will he, while gazing, ask, "Who created these?" Indeed, as has already been expounded elsewhere, "Who created these?" amounts to saying that the whole of creation springs from a region that remains an everlasting "Who?" (Mi?), in that it remains undisclosed. "He that bringeth out their host by number", for inasmuch as that region is undisclosed it brings forth everything by means of the sound that issues from the trumpet, the sound that constitutes the "number" of all the celestial hosts and the sum of the whole of creation; and from thence also proceeds the mystery of sublime faith through all the supernal "sides", and then extending in grade after grade downwards, and widening out into numerous hosts after their kinds, all of whom are numbered, and "He calleth them all by name." The verse continues, "By the greatness of his might" -- an allusion to the "right side", "for that he is strong in power" -- alluding to the "left side", "no one faileth", this in allusion to the forces emanating from the two sides. [232a]. According to an alternative interpretation, the verse, "Lift up your eyes on high, and see: who hath created these?" contains an allusion to the erection and completion of the Tabernacle. For whoever then looked at the Tabernacle saw in it an epitome of the upper world and the lower; for all the works of the universe were contained in the equipment of the Tabernacle. Thus whoever gazed with attention at the clasps of the Tabernacle saw in their gleam the radiance of the stars, inasmuch as they were disposed in the same way as the stars in heaven.'

R. Simeon discoursed on the verses: "Hallelujah. Praise ye the Lord from the heaven ... Praise him, ye heavens of heavens ... Praise the Lord from the earth .. ." (Ps. CXLVIII, 1-8). 'This psalm', he said, 'was indited by David in honour of the mystery of the Divine Name, which is the supreme object of praises. There are two all-embracing songs of praise: this one, and the one contained in the last psalm, commencing: "Hallelujah. Praise God in his sanctuary" (Ibid. CL. 1-6). The latter psalm, however, contains a tenfold praise, alluding to ten musical instruments, but this one is a sevenfold hymn. The two, nevertheless, dwell on one and the same mystery, that of the Divine Name. This one begins, "Praise ye the Lord from the heaven", inasmuch as the heaven was the starting-point of the six directions which expanded downwards from it. This is the limit within which it is permitted to man to investigate. So Scripture says: "For ask now of the days past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of heaven unto the other" (Deut. IV, 32), that is, so far art thou permitted to ask and investigate; but beyond it is not permitted to inquire, that being a sphere hidden and undisclosed. Hence, "praise ye the Lord from the heaven, praise him in the heights", these constituting the two directions, right and left, whence there was an expanding of all the others downwards in the mystery of the grades, till the development was complete. "Praise ye him, all his angels": these are the two supports on which the Body rests. These are here indicated by the term "angels" because, as the legs are, as it were, the messengers of man, moving about from place to place, so are the angels the messengers moving from place to place in the service of their Master, executing His messages. "Praise ye him, all his hosts, " is an allusion to the region whence emanate all the supernal sacred hosts who are marked with the holy sign of the covenant. "Praise ye him, son and moon, praise ye him, all ye stars of light", to wit all the heavenly luminaries, stars and constellations. Now the Psalmist returns to the height of heights, the place by which all is held fast, saying: "Praise him, ye heavens of heavens"; then again he turns to the earth, saying, "Praise the Lord from the earth", etc. Observe that the stars of the lower world exist by the energy they attract to themselves from the supernal mystery, since the whole of existence is based on the supernal archetype, as said elsewhere. Hence all the supernal stars and constellations are entrusted with the guidance of the world beneath them; and from thence there evolve a series of grades upon grades reaching out to the lower stars. All these have no power of their own whatever, but are under the power of the supernal world. Hence the words of Scripture: "Let now the astrologers, the stargazers ... stand up and save thee" (Isa. XLVII, 13) indicating that the lower world is under the jurisdiction of the supernal world.'

AND THEY MADE THE TUNICS OF FINE LINEN (shesh) ... AND THE MITRE OF FINE LINEN (shesh), ETC. R. Jose, in exposition of this, cited the verse: "And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains", etc. (Isa. II, 2). 'That means', he said, 'that "in the end of days", when the Holy One, blessed be He, will visit the daughter of Jacob and raise her from the dust, when, further, the sun will be joined to the moon, then "the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established", to wit, Upper Jerusalem, which will be illumined by the radiation of the supernal light, which will then shine with sevenfold effulgence. So Scripture says: "Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of the seven days", etc. (Ibid. XX, 26). "On the top of the mountains" [232b] signifies the High Priest, who is the head of all, and symbolizes the "right side"; it is he who continuously beautifies the House, and by his benediction gives it a glad aspect. That House will thus be established and adorned by means of those robes made after the supernal pattern. The House being established by the "top of the mountains", that is, by the High Priest, will rear itself aloft, and merge its existence in the supernal realm, so that the world will be filled with an effulgence radiating from the light supernal; and so Scripture continues, "and [it] shall be exalted above the hills", to wit, above all the celestial hosts and legions, "and all nations shall flow into it". Observe this. When the priest here below spreads out his hands [to bless the people], a celestial light first emerges, then all the lamps are kindled, their lights radiating into each other and fusing into each other until the face of the Community of Israel is irradiated. All this comes to pass through the agency of the primordial light, which is the "High Priest". And the activity of the priest here below awakens a corresponding activity in the Priest on high. Thus "the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains ... and all the nations shall flow unto it". For, whereas now all the other nations have Chieftains in heaven to rule them, at that time the Holy One, blessed be He, will remove those Chieftains and depose them from their sovereignty, as we read, "the Lord will punish the host of the high heaven on high" (Ibid. XXIV, 21). And when all these are removed the Holy One alone, blessed be He, shall be acknowledged mighty, as Scripture says: "And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day" (Ibid. II, 11). And so the former passage continues: "And many peoples shall go and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob" (Ibid. 3). All this will come to pass when the High Priest, the "top of the mountains", shall illumine her, by the mystery of the number six (shesh), signifying the six directions of the world.'

R. Eleazar and R. Isaac and R. Judah were once walking together on the road. Said R. Eleazar: 'It is time we drew to ourselves the company of the Shekinah; this will only be if She hears from us words of the Torah.' R. Judah then remarked: 'Let the chief begin.' R. Eleazar then began to discourse on the verse: "I am small and despised, yet have I not forgotten thy precepts" (Ps. CXIX, 141). 'King David', he said, 'sometimes extols himself, saying, for instance, "and [He] whose mercy to his anointed, to David and to his seed, for evermore" (Ibid. XVIII, 51); or, "The saying of David, the son of Jesse, and the saying of the man raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob" (2 Sam. XXIII, 1); and at other times he abases himself, saying, "for I am poor and needy" (Ps. LXXXVI, 1), or, as here: "I am small and despised." Now he also said of himself: "The stone which the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone" (Ibid. CXVIII, 22). The truth is that when he found himself in peace and triumphant over his enemies, he extolled himself; but when he found himself oppressed and harassed by his enemies, he abased himself and called himself the poorest and the least of men. For at one time he would prevail over his enemies, and then he would again feel their pressure; but for all that he would always obtain dominion over them, and they were never able to discomfit him. Despite that, King David always humbled himself before the Holy One, blessed be He; for whoever abases himself before Him, He exalts above all other men. The Holy One, blessed be He, thus found David acceptable in this world and in the world to come -- in this world, as it says, "For I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake" (Isa. XXXVII, 35); and in the future world, as it says, "and [they] shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall come trembling unto the Lord and to his goodness in the end of days" (Hos. III, 5). David, indeed, was king in this world and will be king in the time to come; hence "the stone the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone". For, when the sun turns away his face from the moon, and does not shine upon her, she has no light whatever and so does not shine, but is poverty-stricken and dark on all sides; but when the sun turns towards her and radiates his light upon her, then her face is illumined and she adorns herself for him as a woman for a man. She thus is then invested [233a] with the dominion of the world. So David adorned himself after this very manner. Now he would appear poor and dejected, but then again he would be revelling in riches. Hence David's declaration, "I am small and despised, yet have I not forgotten thy precepts." It behoves, indeed, every man to follow this example and to humble himself in every respect so as to become a vessel in which the Holy One, blessed be He, may find delight. This lesson has also been expounded in connection with the phrase, "with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit' (Isa. LVII, 15).'

R. Eleazar then continued: 'It is written, "And he brought me thither, and behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate" (Ezek. XL, 3). Ezekiel saw in this prophetical vision a "man", but not "a man clothed in linen" (Dan. X, 5). For it is only when the angel is on an errand of severity that he is called "a man clothed in linen". Otherwise, he assumes various guises, appears in various attire conformably to the message he bears at the time being. Now, in the present vision "his appearance was like the appearance of brass", that is, he was clothed in the raiment formed of the "mountains of brass", and the "measuring reed" that he had in his hand was not the "Obscure Lamp" [27] of the hidden and treasured-up light, but it was formed out of a solidified part, as it were, of the residue of light left by the "Obscure Lamp", what time that light mounted up to the heights and became engraven within the scintillating and undisclosed brightness. The "measuring reed", therefore, is used for measuring the dimensions of the lower sphere.  [28] Now, there is a "measuring reed" and a "measuring line". All the measurements of Ezekiel were by the measuring reed, whereas in the work of the Tabernacle all was measured by the measuring line. This is also used for the measuring of the dimensions of this world after the pattern of the "cord" (employed in Ezekiel's Temple), inasmuch as in the process of its extension a knot was formed at every cubit length, which length became the standard measure for the purpose, called ammah (cubit). That "measuring line" thus bears the name of "cubit"; and that explains the wording, "The length of each curtain was eight and twenty by the cubit (ba-amah), and the breadth of each curtain four by the cubit" (Ex. XXXVI, 9), the singular, " cubit", pointing to the fact that it was the cubit which measured on every side. Now this was a projection from the Supernal Lamp, the lower measurement being the counterpart of the higher. The miniature lower measurement embraces a thousand and five hundred facets, each facet expanding into twelve thousand cubits. Thus one cubit moved along, growing into a "measuring line", each cubit in its turn being newly revealed; and so it resulted in a length of eight-and-twenty "by the cubit" and a breadth of four "by the cubit". Hence the one cubit covered thirty-two spaces, symbolic of the thirty-two "Paths of Wisdom" that emanate from the supernal regions. Now the length (of the curtains) was formed into four sections of seven cubits each, the number seven expressing here the central mystical idea; similarly the thirty-two Paths are embraced within the seven, in their mystical symbolism of the Divine Name. So far in regard to this measurement, which was of a higher degree of holiness; for, indeed, there was another measured substance that was designed to be a covering to this, the external comprising the number thirty-four; whilst the internal was of the number thirty-two [233b], and, moreover, being of a higher degree of holiness, it contained the sacred colours enumerated in the passage, "of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet" (Ibid. 8). The same lesson is indicated in the words. "I went down into the garden of nuts" (8.S. VI, 11). For, as the nut has a shell surrounding and protecting the kernel inside, so it is with everything sacred: the sacred principle occupies the interior, whilst the "other side" encircles it on the exterior. This is the inward meaning of "the wicked doth surround the righteous" (Habakkuk I, 4). The same is indicated in the very name EGVZ (nut). [29] Observe that the exterior, the more it is enlarged the more worthless it becomes. As a mnemonic we have the sacrifices of the Feast of Tabernacles, the number of which goes on diminishing with the increase of days. We thus find the same here. Of the inner curtain it is written: "And thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains" (Ex. XXVI, I); whereas for the outer ones the number was "eleven curtains" (Ibid. 7). Furthermore, of the outer curtains it says, "The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits" (Ibid. 8), the two numbers amounting together to thirty-four, a number symbolic of the lowest depth of poverty; [30] whereas the corresponding number in the ten curtains was thirty-two, a smaller number, but symbolizing the sublime mystery of the Faith, or the Divine Name. The lower is thus the higher, and the higher the lower. The former constitutes the interior, the latter the exterior. Now the same "measuring-line" went on expanding and thus measured the boards, concerning which it is written: "And he made the boards for the tabernacle of acacia-wood, standing up" (Ibid. XXXVI, 20). These symbolized the Seraphim, as indicated by the description "standing up", which is paralleled in "Seraphim were standing up" (Isa. VI, 2). Now, here it is written, "Ten cubits shall be the length of a board" (Ex. XXVI, 16), and not "ten by the cubit". This is because the boards represented the three triads with a single one hovering high above them. [31] The number eleven and a half [32] has its recondite significance in that the boards symbolized a striving upwards, but not yet reaching to the degree of the Ophanim, [33] the half being expressive of incompleteness. This concerns the mystery of the Holy Chariot, for the twenty boards divide themselves into ten on this side and ten on the other, denoting a reaching out to the height of the sublime Seraphim. Then there is a further ascent in the holy region, denoted by the "middle bar" (Ibid. XXVI, 28). There is also an inward significance in the twenty boards in that they embrace the number 230. [34] The value of each prescribed measure has here its proper meaning. The curtains of the Tabernacle mentioned before stand for sublime mysteries, namely, the mystery of heaven, regarding which Scripture says: "Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain" (Ps. CIV, 2). Now, of the two sets of curtains, the one expresses one aspect of the mystery whilst the other expresses another aspect of the same mystery. The whole is designed to teach us Wisdom in all its aspects and all its manifestations; and so that man may discern between good and evil, between what Wisdom teaches and what it rejects. The mystery of the basic measurement, as elsewhere laid down, embraces various objects. The Ark in its dimensions falls within the same recondite principle, in respect of what it received and what it possesses of its own. [234a] We thus read: "two cubits and a half was the length of it" (Ex. XXXVII, 1). The one cubit on either side tells us about the Ark being the recipient from this side and from that side; whilst the half cubit in the centre represents what it had possessed of its own; and the same is indicated by the cubit and a half of its breadth and a cubit and a half of its height: each cubit speaks of what accrued to it, and each half of what is possessed already. For there must needs be something for something else to rest on, and hence the existing half in every account. There is a further recondite significance in that the Ark was inlaid with gold inside and outside so as to have its dimensions formed after the archetypal plan. The table was similarly measured by this archetypal scale. The dimensions of the Ark, however, were not used elsewhere, for reasons revealed to the wise. Similarly, all the other works of the Tabernacle were measured by the same cubit, with the exception of the breastplate, which was measured by the span. Now observe this. The tunic embraced the mystery of the "six" (shesh) [35] in that it symbolized the vesture designed for the setting right and investiture of all that comes within the "six" (directions of the world). So far the recondite significance of the "measuring-line". In the vision of Ezekiel, however, we find instead the "measuring-reed", for the reason that the House which he beheld was destined to remain forever in its place with the same walls, the same lines, the same entrances, the same doors, every part in accordance with prescribed measure. But in regard to the time to come, Scripture says: "And the side-chambers were broader as they wound higher and higher" (Ezek. XLI, 7). For immediately the building will be begun that "measuring-reed" will mount higher and higher in the length and in the breadth, so that the House will be extended on all sides, and no malign influence shall ever light on it. For at that time Severity will no more be found in the world; hence everything will remain firmly and immovably established, as Scripture says, "and [they will] be disquieted no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more", etc. (2 Sam. VII, 10). And observe that all these measurements prescribed for this world had for their object the establishment of this world after the pattern of the upper world, so that the two should be knit together into one mystery. At the destined time, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will bestir Himself to renew the world, all the world will be found to express one mystery, and the glory of the Almighty will then be over all, in fulfilment of the verse, "In that day shall the Lord be one, and his name one" (Zech. XIV, 9).'

R. Judah followed with a discourse on the verse: "The counsel (sod) of the Lord is with them that fear him; and his covenant to make them know it" (Ps. XXV, 14). '"The counsel" (sod),' [36] he said, 'alludes to the sublime mystical knowledge which remains hidden and undisclosed save for those that fear the Lord continuously and thus prove themselves worthy of these secrets and able to keep them. Observe that the world has been made and established by an engraving of forty-two letters, all of which are the adornment of the Divine Name. These letters combined and soared aloft and dived downwards, forming themselves into crowns in the four directions of the world, so that it might endure. They then went forth and created the upper world and the lower, the world of unification and the world of division. In the latter they are called "mountains of separation" (bather) (8.8. II, 17). which are watered when the south side begins to come near [234b] them. The water flows with supernal energy and with ecstatic joy. Whilst the Thought mounts up with exulting joy out of the most Undisclosed One, there flows out of it a spark: the two then come into contact with each other, as explained elsewhere. [37] These forty-two letters thus constitute the supernal mystical principle; by them were created the upper and the lower worlds, and they indeed constitute the basis and recondite significance of all the worlds. Thus is explained the verse, "The secret of the Lord is to them that fear him; and his covenant to make them know it", the first part alluding to the undisclosed engraven letters, whereas the latter speaks of the revealed. Now, it is written: "And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgement the Urim and the Thummim" (Ex. XXVIII, 30). The term "Urim" (lit. light, illumination) signifies the luminous speculum, which consisted of the engravure of the Divine Name composed of forty-two letters by which the world was created; whereas the Thummim consisted of the non-luminous speculum made of the Divine Name as manifested in the twenty-two letters. The combination of the two is thus called Urim and Thummim. Observe that by the power of these sunken letters were the other letters, namely, the raised letters forming the names of the tribes, now illumined, now darkened. The letters of the Divine Name embrace the mystery of the Torah, and all the worlds are a projection of the mystery of those letters. The Torah begins with a Beth followed by an Aleph,  [38] indicating thereby that the world was created by the power of these letters, .the Beth symbolizing the female principle and the Aleph the male principle, and both engendering, as it were, the group of the twenty-two letters. Thus we read, "In the beginning God created the (eth) heaven and the (eth) earth" (Gen. I, 1), where the particle eth (consisting of Aleph and Tau) is a summary of the twenty-two letters by which the earth is nourished. [39] Now, the same letters were the instruments used in the building of the Tabernacle. This work was carried out by Bezalel for the reason that, as his very name (Bezel-El=in the shadow of God) implies, he had a knowledge of the various permutations of the letters, by the power of which heaven and earth were created. Without such knowledge Bezalel could not have accomplished the work of the Tabernacle; for, inasmuch as the celestial Tabernacle was made in all its parts by the mystical power of those letters, the lower Tabernacle could only be prepared by the power of the same letters. Bezalel was skilled in the various permutations of the Divine Name, and for each several part he employed the appropriate permutation of the letters. But when it came to the rearing up of the Tabernacle it was beyond his power, for the reason that the disposition of those letter-groups was entrusted to Moses alone, and hence [235a] it was by Moses that the Tabernacle was erected. So Scripture says: "And Moses reared up ... and [he] laid ... and put in ... " (Ex. XL, 18) -- Moses, but not Bezalel.'

R. Isaac then followed with a discourse on the verses : "O Lord, in thy strength the king rejoiceth; and in thy salvation how greatly doth he exult! Thou hast given him his heart's desire ... he asked life of thee, thou gavest it to him, even length of days for ever and ever" (Ps. XXI, 2-S). He said: 'David intended in this psalm to sing the praises of the Community of Israel by pointing out that the Holy One, blessed be He, is gladdened by means of the Torah, which is called "strength", as it is written, "The Lord will give strength unto the people" (Ibid. XXI, 11). The "king" in this verse refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, and the salvation mentioned is that of the Right. The verse continues: "He asked life of thee, thou gavest it to him, even length of days for ever and ever". From here we learn that King David was not endowed with any life-duration at all of his own, but it was Adam who made him a gift of a portion of his life, consisting of seventy years. [40] He thus attained length of life, both in this world and in the world to come. "His glory is great", because the Holy One, blessed be He, is the greater of "the two great lights" (Gen. I, 16), but only "through thy salvation". The Psalm continues: "For thou makest him most blessed (lit. blessings) for ever; thou makest him glad with joy in thy presence" (Ibid. XXI, 7), because He is the blessing of the whole world, the source of all blessing; similarly, it was said to Abram, "and be thou a blessing" (Gen. XII, 2): "Thou wilt make him glad with joy"; this refers to the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise the Community of Israel from the dust and renew Her with the renewal of the moon in joy; "in thy presence", to wit, to abide joyfully in Thy presence, in the perfection which She will achieve in that time. For when the Sanctuary was destroyed it was emptied of all its fulness, as we read: "She that hath borne seven languisheth" (Jer. XV, 9), also, "I shall be filled with her that is laid waste" (Ezek. XXVI, 2). [41]

'Observe that when Moses was about to rear up the Tabernacle, he first surveyed each several part to see if it had been made properly, and only then did he rear it up; the several parts were one by one brought to him, this being the recondite idea of the verse, "the virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee" (Ps. XLV, 15). So Scripture says: AND THEY BROUGHT THE TABERNACLE UNTO MOSES. They brought it to Moses as the time had come for his espousals; just as the bride is first brought to the bridegroom and then he enters unto her; 80 first they "brought the Tabernacle unto Moses" and then he entered into the tent of meeting. Indeed, it is written: AND MOSES WAS NOT ABLE TO ENTER INTO THE TENT OF MEETING, BECAUSE THE CLOUD ABODE THEREON, for the reason that S~ was then arraying herself in Her finery as a woman tires and bedecks herself to receive her husband; and at such a moment it is unseemly for the husband to enter unto her. Thus "Moses was not able to enter into the tent of meeting ...", and they had to bring "the Tabernacle unto Moses". [235b] Observe that throughout all the works about the Tabernacle the colour of blue was to playa part, as that colour summarized in its adornment the recondite significance of all the colours. Scripture thus says: AND THEY MADE THE PLATE OF THE HOLY CROWN OF PURE GOLD ... AND THEY TIED UNTO IT A THREAD OF BLUE.

'The Tabernacle, in its recondite significance, reflected the supernal mysteries comprised within the Divine Name ADNY. The same significance is reflected by the Ark, of which it is written: "Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord (ADN) of all the earth" (Jos. III, 11), the term ADN being identical with the Divine Name ADNY. The name ADNY corresponds to the most sublime Divine Name YHVH, the Aleph of the one containing the same recondite meaning as the Yod of the other, the Daleth of the one corresponding to the Hi of the other, and so with the Nun and Vau, the Nun being emblematic of the male principle and the Vau of the female principle, but the two forming a complete whole; and so, too, with the Yod of the one and the He of the other. The several letters of the two Names, moreover, imply each other, complement each other, and together enfold one mystery. Now, the lower and earthly Tabernacle was the counterpart of the upper Tabernacle, whilst the latter in its turn is the counterpart of a higher Tabernacle, the most high of all. All of them, however, are implied within each other and form one complete whole, as it says: "that the tabernacle may be one whole" (Ex. XXVI, 6). The Tabernacle was erected by Moses, he alone being allowed to raise it up, as only a husband may raise up his wife. With the erection of the lower Tabernacle there was erected another Tabernacle on high. This is indicated in the words "the tabernacle was reared up (hukam)" (Ex. XL, 17), reared up, that is, by the hand of no man, but as out of the supernal undisclosed mystery in response to the mystical force indwelling in Moses that it might be perfected with him. It is written above: "And all the wise men that wrought [236a] all the work of the sanctuary came", etc'. (Ibid. XXXVI, 4). The "wise men that wrought" embrace the "right", the "left", and all the other sides constituting the ways and paths that lead into the sea and fill it. These wrought the supernal Tabernacle and perfected it. Likewise, the lower Tabernacle was wrought by Bezalel and Oholiab, the one of the right, the other of the left, followed by "every wise-hearted man", all after the supernal pattern. On the day the Tabernacle was reared up death was removed from the world, that is, it was deprived of its dominion over the world. For, indeed, the entire extinction of the evil impulse will not come to pass until the coming of King Messiah, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will rejoice in His works and "he will swallow up death for ever" (Isa. xxv, 8). Yet when the Tabernacle was reared up by the hand of Moses the power of the evil impulse was subdued so that it could not exercise dominion. At that time the power of Samael, the wielder of the fury of the "left side", was removed from the evil serpent, so that the latter was not able to dominate the world or attach himself to man and lead him astray: R. Judah said: 'It is written: "And Moses used to take the tent and pitch it without the camp" (Ex. XXXIII, 7). The reason of this was that Moses did not wish that the "holy side" should rest in the midst of the side of defilement: Said R. Eleazar: 'So long as the "holy side" rules, the side of defilement is powerless and bows before it. So we have learnt that 80 long as Jerusalem is in its fulness wicked, Tyre remains devastated.' [42]

R. Eleazar said: 'It is written: "And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel" (Gen. XXIV, 64). What is the significance of this verse that it should be written in the Torah? Is it merely to tell us that the sight of Isaac's good looks made her alight from the camel? The truth is that this verse contains a recondite meaning. Observe that when Rebekah encountered Isaac it was the time of Minha (afternoon prayer), a time when Rigour is at large in the world, and she discerned him as one who was of the region of fierce Rigour, a region symbolized by the camel (gamal), [43] and hence she leaned and slipped off that camel. This camel is all-devouring and all-exterminating, is always ready to inflict death on man. Hence, whenever a man sees a camel in his dream it signifies that death was decreed upon him, but he was delivered. Observe that the side of defilement is so designated by reason of it having brought death into the world. The same it was that seduced Adam and his wife, and Samael is the one that rides on it and leads the world astray, and brings about the death of every one. It was Adam who first drew him to himself, so that he became their seducer. Of this Solomon said, "and come not nigh the door of her house" (Prov. V, 8), for whoever comes nigh her house, she emerges, attaches herself, and is drawn unto him. Thus when Rebekah discerned Isaac as being of the side of Rigour, the side of the dross of gold, she straightway alighted from the camel so as to break herself loose from the Rigour and the dross. Observe [236b] that when the Israelites committed the sin of the Golden Calf there was no reason why they should have made a calf rather than anything else of the evil side. But, indeed, they did not choose the Calf, but merely said: "Up, make us a god who shall go before us" (Ex. XXXII, 1); and Aaron intended to delay them. But the Calf was the appropriate form. For from the side of gold there emerged the dross, out of which spread in all directions all the forces of the "left side". All these forces have the red colour of gold, and are under the influence of the sun. For when the sun reaches his full strength he generates gold in the earth; and the Chieftain ruling under the force of the sun has the appearance of a calf, and is described as "the destruction (keteb) that wasteth at noonday" (Ps. XCI, 6). The red side, the defiled spirit, is the same as the Evil Serpent. On him there rides a male-female being, called eleh (these), so called for the reason that they appear everywhere in various guises. On the opposite side is the Holy Spirit, called zoth (this), [44] pointing to the emblem of the holy covenant which is always found on man. The others, however, are called "these", wherefore it is written "yea, these [45] may forget, yet will not I forget thee" (Isa. XLIX, 15). The same is alluded to in "For these things I weep" (Lam. I, 16), inasmuch as that sin was the cause of many weepings for Israel. Alternately, "For these I weep", to wit, for the dark forces of that region to whom was given the licence to dominate over Israel and to destroy the Sanctuary. "These" (eleh) points thus to the powers of the unclean-side, and "I weep" points to the Holy Spirit, who is named "I". One might indeed urge against this, citing the words: "These (eleh) are the words of the covenant" (Deut. XXVIII, 69). [46] But in truth, even here the word eleh (these) points to the curses awaiting him who will transgress "the words of the covenant". Similarly, in the passage, "These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses" (Lev. XXVII, 34), the word "these" is a warning to man to purify himself by the observance of the precepts of the Torah and not to stray from the right path, but to keep afar from the evil powers. As regards "These are the generations of Noah" (Gen. VI, 9), the word eleh (these) is assuredly appropriate there, inasmuch as Noah begat Ham, the father of Canaan, in regard to whom it is written, "Cursed be Canaan" (Ibid. IX, 25). This, then, is the esoteric implication of eleh (these), pointing in our text to the dross and refuse of the gold. Now Aaron offered up the gold because he was of the side of fire, and gold is under the influence of the force of fire, the two being, as it were, one. The Unclean Spirit, whose haunting place is the desert, thus found at that moment an occasion to seize hold of him; and so, whereas Israel standing at Mount Sinai were purged of the primitive venom that the evil spirit injected into the world, thereby bringing death to all mankind, now the same evil spirit defiled them anew, took hold of them and brought again death to them and to all mankind and for all their generations to follow. Scripture so says: "I said: Ye are godlike beings.... But ye shall dif, like men", etc. (Ps. LXXXII, 6-7). Aaron therefore had to purge himself afterwards during the seven sacred days, [47] and after that by means of a calf. [48] Observe that Aaron had to purge himself, for but for him the calf would not have emerged. For Aaron belonged to the "right side", he symbolized the strength of the sun, the source whence gold originates; and so the unclean spirit came down and insinuated itself, with the result that the Israelites were defiled, and Aaron also. Aaron was defiled through the emergence of the calf that belongs to the left side, as it says: [237a] "and the face of the ox on the left side" (Ezek. I, 10). Thus, though Aaron was of the "right side", the "left side" was there in absorption, the side that gave occasion for the calf. In this way the unclean spirit prevailed and regained his former rule over the world. For Israel, through their sin, drew to themselves the evil impulse as formerly. And in order to purge themselves they needed to offer up a goat, inasmuch as the goat is the portion of the evil impulse, that is, the unclean spirit, as already said. It is written: "And they exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox that eateth grass" (Ps. CVI, 20). This is an allusion to the calf that came from the "left side". "Their glory" signifies the Shekinah that led the way before them, but which they exchanged for something unclean. Thus will the slimy venom not pass out of the world until the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will remove it, as it says: "and I will cause the unclean spirit to pass out of the earth" (Zech. XIII, 7).

'Now some sorcerers succeed in their art and others do not succeed, although they use the same practices, since the success of sorcery depends on the man himself. We have an example in Balaam, who was the very man for such arts, he being, as tradition tells us, blind in one eye, [49] and looking askance with the other. But of those who have to serve with the holy spirit it is written: "For whatsoever he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man or a lame" (Lev. XXI, 18). So here the way was paved for the unclean spirit to enter and obtain dominion. It found a desert utterly uninhabitable, as it is written, "wherein were serpents, fiery serpents, and scorpions", etc. (Deut. VIII, 15), a spot that belongs to his dominion, and that contained gold enough for his use. It also found in Aaron a medium through which to insinuate itself into the "right" side. Thus the place being in all ways suitable it emerged into the open, and the deed was done. So when Aaron wished to become purged, he offered up a calf so as to execute judgement, as it were, on the "evil side". Whereas before he brought forth the Calf to make it ruler, he afterwards offered up a calf in order to subdue the evil power, for once punishment is executed on the "left side" all the subordinate rulers of that side are subdued. In regard to this, Scripture says: "Eat not of it raw ... but roast with fire, its head on its legs" (Ex. XII, 8), so as to break the evil power and subdue it, and so that all its subordinates should no more exercise rule. Similarly we read: "a red heifer, faultless", etc. (Num. XIX, 2). This had the same object, namely, to subdue all those sides of the unclean spirit.' Said R. Abba to R. Eleazar: 'But is not the heifer sacred and purifying? and how can this be?' R. Eleazar replied: 'Indeed, it is so. It has been expounded that it was an epitome of the four Kingdoms. [50] Thus, the "heifer" is Israel, of whom it is written, "For Israel is stubborn like a stubborn heifer" (Hos. IV, 16); "a red [heifer]" indicates the Kingdom of Babylonia, regarding which it says, "thou art the head of gold" (Dan. II, 38); "faultless" points to the Kingdom of Media; [51] and "wherein is no blemish" indicates the Kingdom of Greece (who were near the true faith). "Upon which never came yoke" alludes to the Kingdom of Edom, [52] which was never under the yoke of any other power. It is written: "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one" (Job. XIV, 4). [237b] The heifer is such a thing; for first it was an unclean thing, [53] but after judgement had been executed on her, after she had passed through the fire and was burned to ashes, she was transformed into a purifying agency. Hence all those who busied themselves with it became defiled, and even after it turned into ashes, before these were gathered and removed, it defiled all who handled them, as we read: "And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean", etc. (Num. XIX, 10). But as soon as water was poured over the ashes they became clean -- a clean thing out of an unclean. After the clean had emerged out of the unclean, whatever was allied to the unclean spirit fled. So now the Holy Spirit obtained dominion, and the unclean spirit was subjugated utterly. The latter received its punishment without the camp in harmony with the precept, "therefore shall thy camp be holy" (Deut. XXIII, 15).' R. Abba then approached and kissed R. Eleazar.

Said R. Simeon: 'All this is true, yet nevertheless the Holy One, blessed be He, has conferred power on the unclean spirit and it behoves man to subjugate him from all directions. Now I am about to reveal to you', he said, 'a mystery which is only permitted to be revealed to the superior saints. The Holy One, blessed be He, has conferred power upon the place which is the unclean spirit to have dominion over the world in many ways and to be enabled to inflict harm; we thus dare not treat him lightly, but we have to be on our guard against him lest he indict us, even in our holy actions. We have, therefore, a secret device, namely, to assign him a little space within our holy performances, since it is out of the source of holiness that he derives his power. Hence we are required to enclose inside the phylacteries a hair of a calf with one end jutting out and exposed to sight. This hair is incapable of communicating defilement, since it is smaller than a barley grain. [54] Now, when the unclean spirit beholds this hair that is within the supremely holy, and thus finds that he has a portion therein, he will abstain from assailing the wearer and will be powerless to inflict evil on him, whether on high or below. Whereas if nothing is given him within what is holy he brings accusations, saying, that-and-that man who at the moment makes himself holy has done such-and-such a deed on such-and-such a day, and these-and-these are the sins he committed; so that the man will thus be brought to judgement and be punished. The Israelites, who were aware of this secret, used to adopt a similar device when they began to sanctify themselves on the Day of Atonement; they at once made provision for assigning the unclean spirit his portion, so that he should not accuse them nor bring to notice the sins of Israel. For when he presents himself to bring accusations against Israel, ever so many bands and hosts stand there ready to take up his word. Happy is the portion of him who is able to be on his guard so that his sins should not be brought to notice on high, and so that he should not be regarded with disfavour.' Meanwhile tears began to flow from R. Abba's eyes. Said R. Eleazar to him: "Abba, Abba, unloose thy girdle, and wipe the tears from thy face, inasmuch as the mystic doctrines of the Torah were entrusted to the righteous, as it is written: "The secret (sod) [55] of the Lord is for them that fear him" (Ps. XXV, 14).'

Observe that on New Year's Day the world is brought to trial before the holy Judgement Seat; and there stands on one side the evil spirit who regards intently and makes a record of all those that are doomed to death. But at the moment [238a] that Israel awakens mercy by means of the sound of the trumpet (shofar) he becomes altogether confused and distracted, and turns his gaze away from the doomed ones. This continues until some time after. [56] Then all those under decree of death who have not repented of their sins are delivered into the hands of the evil power under a final order of death, which order is irrevocable. The whole of Israel together have thus to be on guard against him, and how much more so one who is by himself. We have thus to assign him at every New Moon a he-goat as his portion, so that he will abstain from acting as accuser. The sacred moon will thus draw sustenance in holiness and be fittingly renewed. The moon being renewed every month is thus called "na'ar" (youth), but the opposite force, which is forever immersed in defilement, is called "old and foolish king" (Eccles. IV, 13). Thus for holy Israel, the one nation united to God in holiness, the Holy One, blessed be He, has provided a means of escape from all the evil powers. Happy are they in this world and in the world to come. So Scripture says: "Thy people also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land for ever; the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, wherein I glory" (Isa. LX, 21).

'AND THEY BROUGHT THE TABERNACLE UNTO MOSES, ETC. It is written: "And above the firmament" (Ezek. 1, 26). This alludes to the firmament that is placed over the four Hayoth (Holy Animals) who are impinged on by the spirit of the Hayah (Holy Animal), by whose spirit they all rise aloft, as it says: "and when the Hayoth were lifted up from the earth, the Ofanim (Wheels) were lifted up beside them, for the spirit of the Hayah was in the Ofanim" (Ibid. I, 21). It is when the space of that region, as it were, impinges on them that the four Hayoth rise and carry aloft the superior Hayah, bringing it to the Supernal Illumination. This is esoterically alluded to in the words, "The virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee" (Ps. XLV, 15). the four Hayoth being so designated. These raise the Supernal Hayah higher and higher so as to uphold the Supernal Throne, as esoterically indicated in the words, "and [they] bore up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth" (Gen. VII, 17). The same allusion can be found in the words, "And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses", Moses being a synonym of Adam. The Tabernacle is symbolic of all the members of the Body when suffused with a holy desire for the union of the male and female principles. So "they brought the tabernacle", since the bride is first to be brought to her spouse, who subsequently takes up his abode with her permanently.

'Again, the words, "And they brought the tabernacle to Moses" are an allusion to those who daily concentrate their minds [whilst reciting their prayers] on the mysteries of the divine unification, and lift up this throne until they bring it unto "Moses". Thereby they draw unto themselves blessings from the very source of life. Of this Scripture says: AND MOSES SAW ALL THE WORK... . AND MOSES BLESSED THEM, the blessings thus flowing from the region that is of the grade of Moses. Thus the prayer of every man is scrutinized, whether it is recited with the proper concentration on divine unification; [238b] and if it is found to be so, then the man receives blessings from the fount of blessings. Thus, so soon as "they had done it, etc." "Moses blessed them", AND THEY BROUGHT THE TABERNACLE TO MOSES, inasmuch as he was the "master of the house", whom it behoved to supervise its arrangements and mysteries, which none else was permitted to observe and look upon. When they brought the tabernacle to Moses, they brought it in all its parts, each part to be fitted in its place, and all the parts to be joined together to form a whole. For when they attempted to do so themselves, they did not succeed; so they brought it to Moses, who straightway succeeded in joining the parts together, putting each in its place. So we read, "and Moses reared up the tabernacle", and also, "the tabernacle was reared up".

'Observe that when Moses was about to set up the tabernacle and to adjust all its parts and members, fitting them one into the other, all the components of the unclean, or "other" side, became enfeebled. For when the one side, the side of holiness, ascends in power, the unclean side relaxes, and similarly, when the other side ascends this side becomes feeble. When one is full the other is desolate, as with Jerusalem and Tyre. [57] Moses thus "reared up the tabernacle" so as to be fortified by the supernal power and not be overcome by the lower power. Moses, moreover, whose vision was through the "luminous glass", was the one needed for the rearing up of the tabernacle, that he might be enlightened by it and not by some inferior light, just as the moon must receive its light from the sun and not from any other source.

'Observe now, that the Community of Israel had to raise and attach itself to the sun.' In this connection R. Simeon expounded thus the verse: "This is the law of the burnt-offering ('olah); it is that which goes up ... " (Lev. VI, 2). 'The burnt-offering symbolizes the ascent of the Community of Israel and her attachment [to the Holy One] within the World-to-come, so as to form a unity, and therefore She is called 'olah (ascending). It is thus written: "This is the law (Torah) of the burnt-offering ('olah)", to wit, the Written Law and the Oral Law, the two representing the unity of the male and female principles. She is called "the 'olah" because she ascends to the World-to-come, designated the holy of holies. Similarly, the burnt-offering ('olah) is holy of holies, and therefore it is killed northward [of the altar], since it is of the left side in that the Oral Law is not embraced save when the north side is awakened, as it says: "Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me" (S.S. 11, 6). The Oral Law then goes up in love, is entwined in the right and attached in the midst, and the whole becomes illumined from the esoteric source of the Holy of Holies, under the beneficent influence of the service of the priests, the song of the Levites, and the prayer of Israel.

'As already said, the burnt-offering, the most holy grade of offerings, is the emblem of the supernal spirit. For there are three spirits knit together: the lower spirit, designated the Holy Spirit; the intermediate spirit, called "spirit of wisdom and understanding", a name also borne by the lower spirit. But the spirit that proceeds out of the trumpet and is composed of fire and water is called "supernal spirit", since it is hidden and silent, and in it are concentrated all the holy spirits and all the illumined countenances. The burnt-offering was thus transmuted, as it were, into the very essence of that spirit, whereas its beast-part, the consumed fats, were food for the unclean side. Not so the other, or peace-offerings, which had in them the sides of the forces of Rigour, and hence were named "lesser holy offerings"; for they do not ascend as adornments to the height [239a] of heights like the most holy offerings; and hence may be killed on any side of the altar.'

R. Simeon further expounded the verse: "Man and beast thou preservest, O Lord" (Ps. XXXVI, 7). 'Man', he said, 'comes from the side of Man, that is, from that of Adam, whereas beast comes from its own side, that of beast. Hence, "When a man brings from you an offering ... of the cattle", etc. (Lev. I, 2), indicating that the offering is first from man, and then from the cattle, that is, the beast-part, both being necessary for our offering. Similarly, God at the Creation made man and beast together (on the same day). It may be said that birds are also eligible for offerings, and even for burnt-offerings, as we read, "And if his offering be a burnt-offering of fowls" (Lev. I, 14.). Note, however, that of fowls, only turtle-doves and young pigeons are eligible for an offering, the qualifications of the two being opposite to each other; [58] since the former is symbolic of the right, the latter of the left. This is indicated in "and let fowl ('of = flying creatures) fly", an esoteric allusion to the Heavenly Chariot by which the Holy spirit ascends upwards, the term "fowl" being symbolic of the right side, the same being Michael, and the term "let fly" of the left, the same being Gabriel, the two together forming a unity: to wit, that of the lower world with the upper world, or of the Spouse with Her Master. In the Ancient Books it is stated that the poor man [59] provides a portion only for the upper regions, but the truth is that even his portion is distributed both in the upper and the lower regions, each receiving the part appropriate to it. R. Eleazar asked of R. Simeon how far in the heights the burnt-offering reaches. In reply R. Simeon said: 'Even as far as En-Sof (without end) -- the Infinite, where is the union and consummation of all in complete mystery. En-Sof cannot be known, nor how it makes beginning or end, just as the zero number produces beginning and end. What is the beginning? This is the supernal Point, the beginning of all, hidden in "Thought". And it makes the end which is called "the end of the matter" (Eccles. XII, 13). But beyond there is "no end" -- neither intention nor light nor lamp; all the lights are dependent on it, but it cannot be reached. This is a Supreme Will, mysterious above all mysteries. It is Zero ('En). When the supreme Point and the World-to-come ascend, they catch no more than a scent of it.... This, however, [60] is not "a sweet savour", for such is furnished only by the combination of the three acceptable services of prayer, song, and offering, the whole symbolizing "man". It is this sweet odour which drives away the other side -- a service performed by the hand of the priest, as it says: "Command Aaron (239b) and his sons, saying" (Lev. XVII, 2), the term "command", as tradition tells us, alluding to idolatry. [61] This signifies that the evil thought is removed from the holy principle, is separated along with the smoke and the burning fats, whilst the favoured part of the sacrifice ascends on high in its pure holiness. This is the work that was entrusted to the priests. It is true that the same term "command" is used in connection with the whole of Israel, as we read: "Command the children of Israel" (Num. XXVIII, 1). Israel, however, achieve the same work by means of prayer and obedience to the will of their Master. It is by this means that the evil is made powerless to rule over them; and this verse indicates how the Holy Spirit ascends ever higher whilst the spirit of defilement sinks to the lowest depths. Thus, what Israel achieves through prayer the priests achieve through the temple service. All this falls within the work of the priest, and thus is expounded the recondite doctrine of the co-operation (in the sacrifice) of "man and beast". Happy is the portion of the righteous in this world and in the world to come, in that they know the ways of the Torah and thus walk in the way of truth. Of them it is written: "O Lord, by these things", to wit, by the ways of the Torah, "men live" (Isa. XXXVIII, 16), to wit, in this world and in the world to come.

'According to another interpretation, the term "this is the law" refers to the Community of Israel, and the term ha- 'olah (that which ascends) to the evil thought that rises up in man's mind to turn him aside from the way of truth. The verse thus continues: "on its fire-wood upon the altar all night", signifying that the evil thought has to be consumed in fire so as not to allow it to grow. By the term "night" is meant the Community of Israel, which comes to purge man of the evil thought, and so "on its fire-wood" points to the "fiery stream" (n'har di-nur) (Dan. VII, 10), the place where the "unstable" (spirits) have to pass through the burning fire and be deprived of their power. When that happens, the Community of Israel, being the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, ascends on high. It is thus one of the recondite objects of the sacrifice to assign a portion of it as the share of the evil power so as to enable the Holy Spirit to rise on high, as symbolized in the rearing up of the Tabernacle.

'Observe that at the moment when the Tabernacle was erected, as also when the Temple (in Jerusalem) was built, the "other side" was subjugated and removed from the world; and that when the Tabernacle was erected by the hand of Moses the upper and the lower Tabernacles were erected together. Hence it is written: "And Moses reared up the tabernacle". signifying that the Tabernacle below was raised by Moses. as it were. to the height of heights; he raised up. in a sense. that which was fallen and lying low. The same will happen in the days to come. of which it is written: "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen" (Amos IX, 11). [240a] Observe that when Moses erected the Tabernacle. another Tabernacle. to wit. the celestial one, hidden and undisclosed, was simultaneously erected; and it was by the force of that upper Tabernacle that the lower one was made and held firm. As it was the hand of Moses that erected the lower Tabernacle, so was it the "grade" of Moses that simultaneously erected the celestial one. This is proved from the words: "And Moses reared up the (eth) tabernacle". where the particle eth signifies a twin Tabernacle.'

R. Jose said: 'How can Scripture say AND MOSES REARED UP THE TABERNACLE, seeing that that passage speaks of the setting up of its several parts. whilst the term "rearing-up" can only mean the completion of the whole by putting together of all its parts?' Said R. Isaac: 'Moses first set up the three sides of the Tabernacle. whereby the evil power was partly subjugated. and then completed the fourth side. so that the evil power was completely subjugated: a work that could only be done by Moses. and by no one else.

'Observe. that when HE LAID ITS SOCKETS. Samael was shaken out of his place, together with his forty chariot-legions. and fled a distance of four hundred parasangs until he found refuge within the hidden abysmal cavern; and. as Moses "reared up its pillars" and made firm this "side",' the pillars of the "other side" were loosened and fell down.' R. Isaac further discoursed on the verse: "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen" (Amos IX. 11). 'It speaks of the day', he said, 'when the Almighty will execute divine justice upon the world and will visit their deeds upon the wicked of the world. For the Community of Israel cannot rise from the dust so long as the sinners from among Israel exist in the world. Thus the previous verse says: "All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword. that say: The evil shall not overtake nor confront us" (Ibid. 10); and this is immediately followed by the verse, saying: "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle ... and close up their breaches, and I will raise up its ruins", where the plural "their" breaches can only point to "the sinners of My people" who form breaches in Israel, and so when, "the sinners of My people shall die by the sword" those "breaches" will be closed up; "and I will raise up its ruins", to wit, the ruins of the tabernacle of David which was laid into ruins what time the wicked kingdom obtained dominion in the world. For, as we have learnt, of the two powers, as the one gathers strength the other languishes; as the one is filled the other is laid waste. So, until that day the wicked kingdom will be in power, but on that day the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise up the Holy Kingdom and "will raise up its ruins, and will build it as in the days of old" (Ibid.). This last is in allusion to: "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, etc." (Isa. XXX, 26).

'AND MOSES REARED UP THE TABERNACLE, to wit, AND LAID ITS SOCKETS as a support underneath, and to enable the doors to revolve. "He laid them"; that is, he made them very firm, and at the same time the pillars of the "other side" were removed. Now we read: "Remember, O Lord, against the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem; who said: Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof" (Ps. CXXXVII, 7). But God will in the future build the foundations of Jerusalem out of another substance which will prevail against all, to wit, out of sapphires, as it says, "and (I will) lay thy foundations with sapphires" (Isa. LV, 11). For these form firm and solid foundations without any weakness such as was in the former foundations. Over those stones [240b] of the former foundations other nations could prevail, inasmuch as they lacked the light supernal; but these will possess the radiation from the supernal light and will be embedded in the abyss so that no one will be able to loosen them. These are the sapphires that will shed their light above and below. Nor should we think that the former foundations will then be discarded, for it is written: "Behold, I will set thy stones in antimony (pukh)", the term "set" (marbitz) signifying the repairing of the old broken stones. There are certain stones called pukh; the reason -- so said R. Eleazar -- only being known to the "reapers in the field". For we must not think for a moment that the stones of the foundations of Zion and Jerusalem fell into the power of the nations. In truth, they did not bum them, nor were they burnt, but they were all hidden and treasured up by the Holy One, blessed be He, without the loss of a single stone, and when God will again establish Jerusalem in its place, the ancient foundation-stones will return to their former positions; and no other (al. evil) eye will be able to rest on them save an eye painted with antimony (pukh). With such an eye one will be enabled to behold all the stones and foundations of Jerusalem set aright in their places. Similarly, all the other precious stones and stone edifices will be reared up in their former positions. Then "they shall see eye to eye the Lord returning [62] (to) Zion" (Ibid. LII, 8). Scripture speaks of the "Lord returning" for the reason that when other nations obtain rule over Zion, God removes her, as it were, and places her on high; but then He will restore her to her own place. Observe that if a thing is too bright for the eye to behold, the eye may yet look upon it if it is painted with certain substances. Hence, "Behold, I will set thy stones in pukh". [63] Observe also that all the former foundations will in the future be in their former positions and the sapphire stones will be placed around them. Of the time that God will restore His House it is written: "He will swallow up death for ever" (Ibid. XXV, 8); it will not be as at the time when Moses reared up the Tabernacle, but for ever and for all generations. The Holy One, blessed be He, will then establish the Community of Israel, will raise up the pillars and the pins, and all the beams of the Sanctuary in their proper setting to endure for evermore. The "other side" will be swallowed up for ever: "And the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it" (Ibid.).

AND MOSES REARED UP THE TABERNACLE, AND LAID (vayiten) ITS SOCKETS. At the time when these pillars and supports were put into their places, the pillars and supports of the evil side were loosened and swept away from their places. Moses, as we have learnt, saw the wicked Samael advancing towards him with intent to bring accusations against him. But he overpowered him and bound him in fetters, and then reared up the tabernacle, and fixed its sockets. The term vayiten (and he laid) indicates the use of intense force, for no other man but Moses would have been able to overcome this antagonist and to fix the foundations in their place. It was on the first of Nisan that the Tabernacle was reared up, a season when the evil powers are let loose in the world; for in the days of Nisan, as the saying goes, "even when the ox has his head in the fodder basket, go up the roof". [64] Moses saw Samael going round and round him to confuse him, but he overpowered him. And whilst he began to set firmly the Tabernacle below, a corresponding work was begun [241a] on high; there was opposite the earthly Tabernacle a heavenly Tabernacle, hidden and undisclosed, that radiated light on all sides, illuminating all the worlds. R. Jose asked R. Simeon: 'How is it that Scripture seems to speak of three Tabernacles, in that it says: "And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, even the tent of the testimony; and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until morning" (Num. IX, 15)? And further, why "tabernacle" rather than "house", inasmuch as a house was needed rather than a temporary abode?' R. Simeon prefaced his reply with the verse: "Thus saith the Lord: The heaven is my throne, etc." (Isa. LXVI, 1). 'Observe', he said, 'that the Holy One, blessed be He, found delight in Israel as His inheritance and portion, brought them near to Himself, and divided them into certain grades after the celestial model, so as to bring into one complete whole all the worlds, both the upper and the lower. Thus "the heaven is my throne" indicates the firmament wherein Jacob dwells, an exalted image, as it were, of the most high Divine Throne; [65] "And the earth is My footstool", to wit, the firmament where King David abides to feast on the resplendency of the luminous glass; and since this resplendency is designed to be diffused downwards, the term "My footstool" is used. "The house that ye may build unto me" alludes to the Temple; and "the place that may be my resting-place" speaks of the Holy of Holies of the lower Temple. Now observe that all the time that the Israelites wandered in the desert they possessed a Tabernacle, which remained in existence until they came to Shiloh. This, then, is the allusion of the threefold mention of the word "tabernacle", that it went from one place to another, carrying a trail of light through all, but it was not a permanent resting-place. This only came about when the Temple was built in the days of King Solomon. Then was there indeed rest, both in the upper world and the lower; there were no more journeyings from place to place. The difference between "tabernacle" and "house" may be illustrated thus. In regard to the former we have to imagine a king who comes to visit his friend without bringing with him all his retinue, but only a few attendants, so as not to put his friend to trouble. But a "house" is a place where he comes to abide accompanied by his full retinue. The Temple, then, was designed as an ever-enduring resting-place for all the legions, all the symbols, all the solemn works, on the model of the celestial Temple; but the Tabernacle was the same, only on a small scale.

'Observe that when Moses was commanded to make the Tabernacle, he could not comprehend its design until God showed him an exact replica of every single part, a replica in white fire, in black fire, in red fire, and in green fire. Scripture thus says: "And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount" (Ex. XXV, 40). Still Moses found the work difficult, and though he was shown it eye to eye, as it were, he was reluctant to undertake it. Now it cannot be that he Jacked the skill or the knowledge for the work, for though Bezalel and Oholiab and the others with them did not see what Moses saw, yet it is written of them: "And Moses saw all the work, and, behold, they had done it, etc." (Ex. XXXIX, 43). How much more, then was Moses able to accomplish it! But the truth is that though Moses withdrew himself from the work of the Tabernacle, yet was the whole work done by his direction and under his supervision. Hence we read, "And see that thou make". According to an alternative exposition, Moses withdrew himself from the work of the Tabernacle, preferring to make way for someone else. So God said to him: [241b] "See, I have called by name Bezalel ... I have appointed with him Oholiab" (Ibid. XXXI, 1-6); and we read further: "And Bezalel and Oholiab and every wise-hearted man shall work" (Ibid. XXXVI, 1). For all that, seeing that the work was accomplished by and under his direction, it was as though he himself had done it. Moreover, it is the finishing of a work which is the decisive factor, and therefore we read: "And Moses reared up the tabernacle"; all those wise-hearted men attempted to rear it up but could not, the honour being left for Moses.'

AND MOSES REARED UP THE TABERNACLE. R. Judah began a discourse on the verse: "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I have fallen, I have arisen, etc." (Micah VII, 8). 'It is the Community of Israel that says this', he said, 'in regard to the enmity of the wicked kingdom against the holy kingdom. "Though I have fallen" she says, "I have arisen", which is not so with any other kingdom, which once it falls never rises again. But the Community of Israel will rise again as she has risen before other times. She had fallen many times, was driven into exile, dwelt among enemies, and nations arose against Israel in an attempt to exterminate them, as it says: "They hold crafty converse against thy people.... They have said: Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation" (Ps. LXXXIII, 45). Yet, though all nations rose against them, God did not leave them in their hands, and if they did fall it was to rise again. And so at that future time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise her from the dust of the exile, the Community of Israel will say: "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I am fallen, I shall arise". Thus Israel arose from the Egyptian exile from which Moses brought them out with all the miracles and mighty deeds that the Almighty wrought for them. Hence it is written: "And Moses reared up the tabernacle", signifying that it was raised by Moses every time.'

R. Simeon discoursed in this connection on the verse: "When those went these went, and when those stood these stood" (Ezek. I, 21). 'That means', he said, 'that when the Hayoth (living creatures) went the Ofanim (Wheels) also went, as we read, "and when the Hayoth went the Ofanim went hard by them" (Ibid. 19). For the movements of the Ofanim are only induced by the movements of the Hayoth, nor can they pause independently of the Hayoth, for the two move together as one. Now the celestial gate of the east is provided with twenty-four openings guarded by twenty-four sentinels who are surrounded by a flaming fire. There are at the entrance of the gate twenty-four sockets supporting twenty-four pillars. These pillars remain in their place and do not soar into space; they are thus designated "standing ones", in the verse: "I will give thee a place to walk among these standing ones" (Zech. Ill, 7). And as long as those pillars remain immobile those that are above them go to and fro through the world, survey things, and whatever they overhear they carry up on high. So Scripture says: "For a bird of the air shall carry the voice" (Eccles. X, 20). Now observe that the Ofanim (Wheels) are carried by the Hayoth (living creatures). [242a] For that which is of a higher grade, though it seems to be carried by that which is of a lower grade, really carries it. It was the same with the Ark, which also carried its carriers. [66] We must distinguish between the Hayah, "the spirit of which was in the Ofanim", and the Hayoth, with which the Ofanim went. This one turned towards all four quarters of the globe. In regard to this it says: "This is the Hayah that I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chebar" (Ibid. X, 20); it is the same which forms a throne to the likeness of Man, and is below the superior holy Hayoth. For they are in grades, one above the other. The Throne immediately underneath the God of Israel is in the form of Jacob, and the Throne below in that of David; this is the one that turns to the four comers of the world. It follows that the spirit of the highest diffuses through the lower, and directs and guides the whole. There was similar direction in the lower world. Just as in connection with the upper world we read that "the spirit of the Hayah is in the Ofanim", so of the lower world it is written, "And Moses reared up the tabernacle", he being the guiding spirit below; wherefore it is written: "And he reared up, fixed, put."

'Observe that Moses set up the Tabernacle in the recondite spirit of his own high grade; but the Temple that Solomon built was the recondite expression of the River that went forth from Eden, signifying homely peace and rest. The Tabernacle expressed love and affection, but not restfulness, whereas the Temple of Solomon meant rest, as it says, "he shall be a man of rest" (I Chron. XXII, 9). Each one builded according to his own grade.

'Moses first firmly established in the side of holiness the central Point which was hid in darkness and buried, and afterwards all the rest, which is but the enlargement of this Point. And if this Point had not been established first, all that spread from it could not have been established. This is referred to in the words, "he reared up the tabernacle". Moses then "set up its sockets" on either side to the number of a hundred, as it says, "a hundred talents, a talent for a socket" (Ex. XXXVIII, 27). [242b] As already said, here it is not written "and he reared up", but "he laid" (vayiten) the sockets, for the reason that over above them there were placed other grades, riding one upon the other, as it were. At the moment when the central Point was reared up the evil power sank, but it was not wiped out altogether. That will come to pass in the future, as already said. As the one thus rose, so the other sank. When "he set up its sockets", the "holy side" began to gather force, whilst the forces of the "other side" plunged into the cavern of the Abyss. Had Israel not sinned, the evil powers could never more exercise sway in the world. But since Israel sinned, and thereby drew unto them the "other side" as of old, there is no remedy save to assign him his portion, esoterically speaking, in the sacrifices and libation-offerings. For this reason the burnt-offering is completely consumed in fire, so that the "other side" may be subjugated and the holy side may rise. Then the text repeats, "and he put in the bars thereof and he reared up its pillars", so that there should be rearing-up both at the beginning and the end, whereby the side of holiness was upraised and the evil side was weakened and forced down.

'The starting-point of the grades of the evil side, which is the beginning of the outside grade, assumes the shape of the head of a male riding on a camel. This is the starting-point of a thick darkness which spreads out. The darkness is caused by a smoke issuing in the midst of the fury of the evil side, which fury becomes intensified, begetting other furies, and furies upon furies, one riding on top of the other, and representing the male and the female principles. When the smoke begins to spread, through the pressure of the nucleus, it takes the form of a winding and dangerous serpent. The first result of its spreading is a grade which, after much moving up and down, settles into the grade called "shadow", being a shadow on the place called "death"; and when the two are combined they are called "the shadow of death". The lower and outer starting-point is enveloped in darkness and is far removed from the holy and central Point. The darkness round the lower point is black and yet not black, having no hue which can be discerned by the eye. It is of the same kind that prevailed in Egypt, regarding which it says: "they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days" (Ex. X, 23); also, "even darkness which may be felt" (Ibid. 21). [243a] Now this starting-point was ramified into seven grades. The first grade is a darkness that displays three hues: that of smoke, of fire, and that of blackness. The smoky hue is the apparition of the evil seducer who seduces mankind to stray from the path and to be rebellious. In allusion to such it is written: "There shall no strange god be in thee, neither shalt thou worship any strange god" (Ps. LXXXI, 9). The first half of the verse refers to the male principle, the second to the female principle. The fiery view is that aspect of the evil power which brings about slaughter, bloodshed, and destruction amongst mankind. For there is in the world causeless and purposeless slaughter and bloodshed, as well as slaughter and bloodshed in the course of war. The first proceeds from the male principle of the evil powers, the second from the female principle. The male aspect is concerned in mere bloodshed, whereas the female aspect is at the root of mutual wars of people against people; and all such wars proceed from the female principle. Finally, the black hue is the apparition of the evil power that presides over the infliction of wounds and bruises on the bodies of men as well as over crucifixions and strangulations. [243b]

'The second grade emerges out of the darkness and branches out into three hundred separate directions, although they all are absorbed within each other, as it were. They roam abroad to inflict evil on the world, to execute justice openly for sins committed by men in secret.

'The third grade is as a firmament that overspreads all the other grades. [244a] The fourth grade is like a ruddy conflagration, and is also concerned with the shedding of blood among men. It gives the authority to the lower powers for the slaying of mankind. It is to the lower powers in the relation of soul to body. For the soul cannot act save through the medium of body. It is the aspect of the male, which can only act through the female principle, to wit, the lower powers.' [67] [269a]

THEN THE CLOUD COVERED THE TENT OF MEETING, whereby the Shekinah dwelt on the earth, and the unclean spirit, designated "end of all flesh", passed out of the world and disappeared into the cavern of the great abyss. The Holy Spirit had thus sole sway over the world, as Scripture says: "Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting". It is further written: AND MOSES WAS NOT ABLE TO ENTER INTO THE TENT OF MEETING, BECAUSE THE CLOUD ABODE THEREON, in other words, because the Holy Spirit hovered over the world and the unclean spirit passed out. The wicked, however, draw him again into the world, and if not for them he would completely disappear. But in the days to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will cause him to pass completely out of the world, as Scripture says: "He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it" (Isa. XXV, 8); also, "and (I will cause) the unclean spirit to pass out of the land" (Zech. XIII, 3). Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen and Amen. "The Lord will reign for ever."



1. v. Zohar, Exodus, 95b.

2. Binah.

3. Yah. which is the name of Binah.

4. The Zohar takes noph in its post-Biblical sense of branch, part of the tree.

5. v. Zohar, Gen. 74a.

6. Cf. the Talmudic phrase, "uprooter of mountains"  = ingenious dialectician.

7. Viz. the building of the altars and the offering of sacrifices.

8. V.2 Kings, XI, 1-2.

9. There is here a lacuna in the text.

10. The root, N'R has this meaning only in post-Biblical Hebrew.

11. Al. the Divine Faith, which is called "city". as in the passage, "in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God" (Ps. XLVIII. 9).

12. When marital relations are forbidden.

13. Gold, in the cabbalistic doctrine, is symbolic of Rigour, or Judgement, which in the higher regions exists in its purity, whilst the more it descends the more it is mingled with the dross of evil, sin, the "other side", or the evil Accuser, etc. But silver is symbolic of Mercy, which is not changed by its descent.

14. Lit. fills his hands.

15. The Zohar seems to construe this phrase as: "the numbered silver of the congregation."

16. Malkuth.

17. The text here repeats the passage from Zohar, Genesis, 65a, commencing, "That unknowable light" to "is called En-Sof".

18. i.e. Metatron, the chief of the angels.

19. The text here repeats the passage from Zohar, Genesis, 64b, commencing: "We have been taught that the term" to "evil of eye".

20. The text here repeats the passage from Zohar, Gen., 159a, commencing: "There are three orders" to "perfect unity" [159b].

21. The permutations of the letters of the Tetragrammaton.

22. Binah.

23. The world of Creation.

24. v. T. B. Yoma, 73.

25. v. T. B. Menahoth, 35.

26. v. T. B. Erubin. 18.

27. Binah.

28. Beriah.

29. The numerical value of EGVZ. (1+3+6+7)=17. Similarly, HT (sin) (9+8=17; and TVB (the good) (9+6+2)=17.

30. Since 34 is the numerical value of DaL (D=4, L=30), signifying the lowest extreme of poverty.

31. i.e. the 10 Sefiroth, consisting of 3 groups of 3 each with the Sefirah Kether (Crown) above them.

32. i.e. the sum of 10 (the length of each board) + 1-1/2 (the breadth).

33. Lit. Wheels. An angelic order above that of Seraphim.

34. i.e. Twenty times the length of each plus twenty times the breadth of each: (20 x 10) + (20x 1-1/2) = 230. The number 230 is the numerical value of certain sacred names.

35. i.e. the six directions of the world. The homophone shesh=linen (of which the tunic was made) and also = six.

36. Sod in the Bible = counsel; in post-Biblical Hebrew = secret.

37. Zohar, Exodus, 220b.

38. Allusion to Bereshith Bara Elohim (in the beginning God created).

39. v. Zohar, Gen. 16b.

40. v. Yalkut Hadash, 5b; Zohar, Gen. 55a.

41. v. T. B. Pesahim, 72b et passim. There is at this point a lacuna in the text.

42. v. T.B. Pesahim 42b.

43. The Zohar plays upon the Hebrew root GML, which as GaMaL = camel, and as GeMuL = reward, requitement, for good or evil deed.

44. Allusion to Isa, L1X, 21: "this is My covenant with them".

45. Allusion to the Golden Calf, v, Midrash Eikhoh, in loco.

46. This is cited to prove that eleh (these) is associated with the good as well as evil.

47. v. Lev. VIII, 33.

48. v. Ibid. IX, 2.

49. v. Rashi ad Num. XXIV, 15.

50. v. Daniel VIII.

51. An allusion to Cyrus, the liberator of the Babylonian Jews.

52. i.e. Rome.

53. i.e. a symbol of the evil power that was to be destroyed.

54. Allusion (apparently inexact) to Mishnah, Ahaloth III, 2.

55. Sod in Bib. Heb. = counsel, in post-Bib. = secret, mystery.

56. i.e. the eve of the Last day of Tabernacles.

57. Vide T. B. Pesahim, 42b.

58. According to T. B. Hulin, 22a-22b. there is a special age qualification for each, that of the turtle-dove commencing when that of the young pigeon had already terminated.

59. Whose offerings consist only of birds.

60. The text seems here to revert abruptly to the subject of the offering of the bird introduced above.

61. v. T. B. Sanhedrin, 56b.

62. The Zohar takes here the verb shub (returning) in a transitive sense.

63. i.e. owing to the intense brilliancy of the stones, the eye could only look at them when shaded by certain paints like pukh (antimony).

64. T. P. Pesahim, 112b.

65. Al. "an exalted throne for the supernal sacred form."

66. T. B. Sotah, 35a.

67. Here follows in the text a long dissertation on the Hekaloth (temples), or halls of the angels, which is not based on an exposition of the Scriptures.​​​​​