14. IT IS WRITTEN, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now grow pale; when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in the midst of him, sanctifying My name" (Yeshayah 29:22-23). HE QUESTIONS: Who are "his children, the work of My hands?" HE ANSWERS: They are Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, WHO THREW THEMSELVES INTO A BURNING FIRE TO SANCTIFY MY NAME. HE QUESTIONS, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed:" What is Jacob doing here? For it is written, "These were among the descendants of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah" (Daniel 1:6). NOTE, they are referred to as scions of Judah. As a result, it should read: 'Judah shall not now be ashamed.' Why then does it state, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed?"
17. At that hour, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to the throne, WHICH IS MALCHUT, 'My throne, for which word, among all the words THEY UTTERED, should I save these righteous men?' It replied: For the word that all the others mocked, I would save them, NAMELY THE MERIT OF JACOB, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now grow pale," SO THEY WILL SEE THAT THEY WERE SAVED IN HIS MERIT. Just as THE MERIT OF Jacob stood fast when Abraham was cast into the fire, now it will stand fast for these - NAMELY HANANIAH, MISHAEL AND AZARIAH. This is what is written, "Thus says Hashem concerning the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham, Jacob shall not now be ashamed..." namely by the contempt and the mockery with which THE NATIONS AND NOBLES RIDICULED HIM.
55. When the priest heard their voices in the Temple, he placed the incense in its right place and meditated on something, in order that the blessing should flow to all. The wings of the Cherubs were moving up and down, singing and covering the ark. Then they would raise them. This is the meaning of "overspreading." "Overspreading" is exact. Where do we derive that their voices were heard? NAMELY from the verse, "I heard the noise of their wings" (Yechezkel 1:24).
57. It is written, "Then he heard the voice speaking to him from off the covering that was upon the ark of Testimony, from between the two Cherubs: and it spoke to him" (Bemidbar 7:89). Rabbi Yitzchak said: From here, we learned that whenever there are not both male and female present, one is not worthy to behold the presence of the Shechinah. THEREFORE, HE HEARD THE VOICE SPEAKING ONLY FROM BETWEEN THE TWO CHERUBS. This is the intent of the verse, "The upright (Heb. yesharim) shall dwell in Your presence" (Tehilim 140:14), MEANING THE CHERUBS REFERRED TO AS MEISHARIM. We have learned that there is a verse, "Just and right is He" (Devarim 32:4), DENOTING male and female. "JUST" REFERS TO THE MALE, MEANING YESOD, AND "RIGHT" REFERS TO THE FEMALE, MEANING MALCHUT. Here also, the Cherubs are male and female, as it is written of them, "You have established equity (Heb. meisharim in the plural)" (Tehilim 99:4) AND ALSO "the people with equity (Heb. meisharim)," AS MENTIONED ABOVE. For this reason, "And their faces shall look one to another" (Shemot 25:20), THE SECRET OF FACE TO FACE UNION, as we have established.
59. HE ANSWERS: THIS IS as is said, "And their faces shall look one to another (lit. 'man to his brother')" (Shemot 25:20), BROTHERS MEANING MALE AND FEMALE, for the time that ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT faced each other, it is written, "How good and how pleasant." However, when the male turns his face away from the female, woe is to the world. Then it is written, "But sometimes ruin comes for want of justice" (Mishlei 13:23) and assuredly without justice, MEANING WITHOUT ZEIR ANPIN CALLED JUSTICE, WHO DOES NOT LOOK OR GIVE ABUNDANCE TO THE FEMALE CALLED RIGHTEOUSNESS. The verse, "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne" (Tehilim 89:15) means that one does not go without the other. When justice, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, moves afar from righteousness, WHICH IS MALCHUT, woe is to the world.
60. I see that you have come now because the Male does not reside within the Female AND, AS A RESULT, THERE IS NO RAIN IN THE WORLD. He said, If you have come to me for this reason, then go back, as this day I have seen that everything will return to be face to face AND THERE WILL BE NO LACK OF ABUNDANCE OF RAIN IN THE WORLD. However, if you have come here to study Torah, then stay with me. They replied to him: We came to our master for both of them, FOR RAINFALL AND FOR STUDY OF TORAH. Allow one of us to report to our brethren ABOUT THE SALVATION OF RAIN, while we, and the other friends with us, will remain with our master.
61. As they were walking, he said, "I am black, but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem..." (Shir Hashirim 1:5). The Congregation of Yisrael said before the Holy One, blessed be He: I may be black in exile but I am comely with the commandments of the Torah. Even though Yisrael are in exile, they do not forsake THE PRECEPTS. "Like the tents of Kedar" (Ibid.), MEANING EVEN THOUGH I AM like the children of Keturah, whose faces are always black, still I am like "the curtains of Solomon" (Ibid.), MEANING like the view of heaven for purity, as it is written, "Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain" (Tehilim 104:2). SOLOMON (HEB. SHLOMO) IS THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, THE KING OF PEACE (HEB. SHALOM).
76. We have learned that 1,500 sword-bearers wielding authority are linked to the side of these SIXTY mighty ones. In the hands of the one known as the youth, NAMELY METATRON, are four large keys, REFERRING TO FOUR ANGELS - MICHAEL, GABRIEL, URIEL AND REPHAEL. THEY ARE REFERRED TO AS LARGE KEYS, BECAUSE THEY CAUSE THE MOCHIN OF GREATNESS TO FLOW TO THOSE BELOW. Crocodiles, NAMELY THE GRADES OF CHOCHMAH, move under the ship, WHICH IS MALCHUT, THAT IS, IN BRIYAH, of the great sea, BINAH, FROM WHICH MALCHUT RECEIVES HER LIGHT, to HER four corners. The one moves to this side, SOUTH, and the other moves to this side, NORTH, and it is so with all of them, ALSO EASTWARD AND WESTWARD, WHICH ARE THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT. The four shapes of the face appear in them, MEANING IN THESE CROCODILES, AND ARE LION, OX, EAGLE AND MAN, FOR THEY ARE DRAWN FROM THE THREE COLUMNS AND MALCHUT THAT RECEIVES THEM, WHICH IS THE FACE OF A MAN. When they are joined within the one WHICH IS MALCHUT, it is written, "As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man" (Yechezkel 1:10). THIS MEANS the face of all of them, NAMELY THE THREE SHAPES OF LION, OX, EAGLE, RECEIVES A HUMAN FACE LIKE MALCHUT WHEN ALL ARE INCLUDED IN IT.
77. Large faces REPRESENT THE MOCHIN OF GREATNESS and small faces, MEANING MOCHIN OF SMALLNESS, join together above, IN ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT. Two, MEANING THE TWO COLUMNS - RIGHT AND CENTRAL - rise and wander with two shovels in their hands. A thousand mountains rise and arrive daily TO DRAW NOURISHMENT from the potions of that sea, NAMELY BINAH, AS THE LIGHT OF CHOCHMAH ALSO KNOWN AS A THOUSAND MOUNTAINS IS DRAWN THROUGH BINAH ALONE. Afterwards, they are pulled away from it, FROM BINAH, and move into the other sea, NAMELY MALCHUT.
126. Come and see what is written, "But he set his face toward the wilderness" (Ibid. 1) for the purpose of arousing the force that rules there, NAMELY THE OTHER SIDE, so it should come slandering and denouncing Yisrael. It is written of the priests, "He that has a good eye shall be blessed," as he is ready for this and the blessing prevails where he aims his eyes. As a result, we have learned that a person should turn away even from one hundred ways and avoid meeting someone who has an evil eye.
128. In Gush Chalav, there was a person that would kill wherever he struck with his hand, and people would not approach him. In Syria, there was a person that wherever he looked, even if he meant well, everything would turn to bad. One day, there was a person going to the market and his face was aglow, so that person came and stared at him and his eye burst. Hence, in all THINGS, EITHER GOOD OR BAD, there is someone fit for either the one or the other. Consequently, the verse says, "He that has a good eye shall be blessed." Do not pronounce it: 'shall be blessed,' but 'shall bless.'
186. We have learned in relation to these two letters that the same thing I said about the Vav is true about the Nun נון. Even though they have established this matter IN ANOTHER WAY, the Nun can be explained so. The bent Nun נ refers to the Queen, and next to it is Vav ו, which is Yesod, so that MALCHUT attains blessing from it. The straight final Nun ן is the expansion of Tiferet, so the letters are brought together and united one with the other. AS TIFERET, WHICH IS THE STRAIGHT NUN, REACHES OUT TO INSPIRE YESOD, WHICH IS VAV; AND YESOD REACHES OUT TO INFLUENCE MALCHUT, WHICH IS THE BENT NUN. If you ask why does the Vav turn its face away from the bent Nun and show its face to the straight final Nun? This is done to show honor to the King, WHO IS THE STRAIGHT NUN, MEANING TIFERET AS MENTIONED. THEREFORE, YESOD turns its face towards the King, MEANING THAT YESOD AND TIFERET ARE ALWAYS AS ONE AS IT APPEARS IN THE ADJACENT PARAGRAPH.
191. HE SAYS: The upper Hei OF THE NAME YUD HEI VAV HEI, NAMELY BINAH, maintains its gates, MEANING THE FIFTY GATES OF BINAH, in its design and arrangement, MEANING ITS ORDERLY DESIGN. THEN, it grasps the glow of 1,570 covered parlors. ONE THOUSAND IS THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH AND THE RIGHT COLUMN, FIVE HUNDRED IS THE SECRET OF BINAH AND THE LEFT COLUMN AND SEVENTY IS THE SECRET OF DA'AT, THE CENTRAL COLUMN. Then the Hei, NAMELY BINAH, rises to be crowned fifty times for its fifty gates OF BINAH, which maintain whatever is maintaining. When BINAH is designed with her crowns - MEANING HER TWO CROWNS, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF HER DA'AT - the face of the King, ZEIR ANPIN, glows FROM HERE. The Vav spreads to 22 engravings, NAMELY THE NAME OF AYIN BET.
192. The Hei adorns the Vav with 70,500 crowns - THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD OF CHOCHMAH, THE SECRET OF SEVENTY THOUSAND, WHICH IS THE RIGHT COLUMN. CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD OF BINAH ARE THE SECRET OF FIVE HUNDRED, THE LEFT COLUMN, which are adorned with one crown, BEING THE SECRET OF DA'AT THAT UNIFIES AND INCLUDES THEM. This is the essence of the verse, "With the crown with which his mother crowned him" (Shir Hashirim 3:11). BINAH IS CONSIDERED THE MOTHER OF VAV THAT IS ZEIR ANPIN. IT TURNS OUT THAT the Vav's top is engraved with two tops, NAMELY CHOCHMAH AND BINAH. THEREFORE, THERE ARE TWO TIPS WRITTEN AT THE TOP OF THE VAV, one tip higher, HINTING AT CHOCHMAH, and one tip lower, HINTING AT BINAH. The Yud, NAMELY CHOCHMAH, lowers then on to the Vav, MEANING THAT THE VAV IS JOINED WITH THE YUD LIKE THE HEI. The main impression of all the engravings, MEANING THE CENTRAL COLUMN, between THE TWO TOPS, IS the seventy faces adorned from above downwards. Goblets and flowers hover in it. This one rises, NAMELY FLOWERS, the other descends and they are engraved one in the other.
193. The Yud is tied to the Hei ה, the Hei with the Vav and the Vav with the Hei. One is tied with the other, MEANING THAT THE VAV, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, IS CONNECTED WITH THE HEI, WHICH IS MALCHUT. Just as you say in the verse, "But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made supple by the hands of the mighty One of Jacob" (Beresheet 49:24), IN WHICH "STRENGTH" IS YESOD AND "HIS BOW" IS MALCHUT. THUS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN IS ATTACHED TO MALCHUT, and "Strong is your dwelling place, and you put your nest in a rock" (Bemidbar 24:21), WHEREBY "STRONG" REFERS TO YESOD AND "ROCK" IS MALCHUT. They are tied together, one with another, and the keys are aglow WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH. All faces are illuminated, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF SEVENTY FACES MENTIONED EARLIER. Then they all prostrate and tremble AS A RESULT OF THE JUDGMENTS REVEALED WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, and they say: 'Blessed is the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.'
195. We have learned "from all your sins before Hashem" (Ibid.). HE QUESTIONS: If he already wrote, "TO CLEANSE YOU from all your sins," why WRITE "before Hashem THAT YOU MAY BE CLEAN?" Rabbi Yitzchak said, "THAT YOU MAY BE CLEAN...before (lit. 'in the face of') Hashem," MEANING THE ILLUMINATION OF THE FACE OF HASHEM. AS THE ILLUMINATION OF HASHEM'S FACE IS THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, ACCORDING TO THE SECRET MEANING OF THE VERSE, "A MAN'S WISDOM MAKES HIS FACE TO SHINE" (KOHELET 8:1). IT ATONES FOR SINS AND BRINGS CLEANSING.
197. All these books are open before Him and are recorded before Him all these sins. He credits them and cleanses them from all sins. This is the essence of the verse, "From all your sins before Hashem, that you may be clean." "Before Hashem" literally; THIS REFERS TO THE ILLUMINATION OF THE FACE OF HASHEM, THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH WHICH FORGIVES ALL SIN. Those that recite this verse only to this point are permitted to do so, NAMELY UNTIL "BEFORE HASHEM" but no more, as no one else is permitted to announce "that you may be clean" but the High Priest ALONE, who performs the service and unifies the Holy Name. When he unifies THE HOLY NAME and the blessing is in his mouth, that voice, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, comes down, strikes him and causes the word to glow in the mouth of the priest, and he says, "That you may be clean." He performs his service and thus the rest of the supernal beings are blessed.
281. "But Judah still rules with El, and is faithful with holy ones" (Hoshea 12:1). "When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot..." (Beresheet 38:15) as the verse states, "Likewise the way of an adulterous woman" (Mishlei 30:20). "Because she had covered her face" (Beresheet 38:15): We have learned that "she had covered her face," MEANING similar to what you say, "She eats, and wipes her mouth" (Mishlei 30:20). She torched the world with her flames, "and says, I have done nothing wrong" (Ibid.). What is the reason? It is "because she had covered her face" and no one knows her ways in order to save themselves from her. "And he turned to her by the way" (Beresheet 38:16), to the way literally, to make white join with red. "And said, I pray you, let me come in to you..." (Ibid.). We established THAT "let me" always MEANS INVITATION.
282. "For he knew not that she was his daughter in law (Heb. kalah)" (Ibid.), MEANING the destruction (Heb. kelayah) of the world, as translated into Aramaic, WHICH MEANS THAT HE DID NOT KNOW SHE WAS DESTROYING THE WORLD, as kalah is derived from kelayah. Why did he not know? Because she welcomed him so as to receive from him. She came there to be alleviate and bestow mercy upon the world. ANOTHER EXPLANATION FOR, "She was his daughter in law" is literally a bride (Heb. kalah), as it is written, "My bride (Heb. kalah), with me from Lebanon" (Shir Hashirim 4:8).
285. (A) "And she said, Will you give me a pledge, till you send it?" (Beresheet 38:17) These are the marks of a Queen blessed by the King during her nuptials. And he said: What pledge shall I give you? And she said: Your signet, and your cord, and your staff (Ibid. 18). These are the heavenly bonds, the jewels of the Bride who is blessed by these three - NAMELY Netzach, Hod and Yesod. Everything is contained within these three. The Bride is blessed from this. Immediately, "he gave it her, and came into her, and she conceived by him" (Ibid.).
(B) "And it came to pass about three months after" (Ibid. 24). HE QUESTIONS: What is meant by three months? HE ANSWERS: After a tripled month. The three months ARE CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, as we have established. HERE IT IS WRITTEN, "About three months," MEANING as the fourth month began, DENOTING MALCHUT, to stir up the Judgments in the world due to the sins of mankind and to nurture from the Other Side. Then, "it was told Judah, saying, Tamar your daughter in law has played the harlot" (Ibid.), so the bride is found on the Other Side. It is written, "Bring her out" (Ibid.) as the verse says, "And cast down from heaven (to) earth the beauty of Yisrael" (Eichah 2:1). "And let her be burnt" (Beresheet 38:24) with a flaming fire in exile.
(C) It is written, "When she was brought forth" to be drawn into the exile, "She sent to her father-in-law, saying, By the man whose these are, I AM WITH CHILD" (Ibid. 25). It is not written: 'from whom these are,' but "whose these are," WHICH MEANS these items are proof of him by whom I am with child. THESE WERE BRIDAL ORNAMENTS AND THEY HAD ALREADY BECOME HERS, AS EARLIER MENTIONED, BUT ONLY HE GAVE THEM. Immediately, "And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She has been more righteous (Heb. tzedakah) than I" (Ibid. 26). Assuredly she is righteous, for this was brought about by that name, FOR SO IS MALCHUT CALLED. What brought upon her this name? He continued, "than I (also: 'from me')," as it is written, "For Hashem is righteous, He loves righteousness (Heb. tzedakah); the upright shall behold His face" (Tehilim 11:7). This is because tzedakah is justice (Heb. tzedek) and Hei, and she received that name from me. She inherited IT from me and all this is come from me.
319. And the Holy One, blessed be He, praises the Congregation of Yisrael like a rose, and we have already explained why HE PRAISED HER as a rose. Rabbi Yehuda said: When righteous men increase in the world, the Congregation of Yisrael, DENOTING MALCHUT, raises good fragrance BEING THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH THAT SHINES FROM BELOW UPWARD AS FRAGRANCE, and is blessed WITH CHASSADIM from the Holy King, and her face shines. But when the wicked increase in the world, it is as if the Congregation of Yisrael does not raise up the good fragrance, and tastes from the bitter FEEDING of the Other Side. Then it is written, "And cast down from heaven (to) earth..." (Eichah 2:1), MEANING THE COUPLING OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED HEAVEN AND MALCHUT CALLED EARTH HAS BEEN DISBANDED, and her face is dark.
325. Come and see: There was not such joy before the Holy One, blessed be He, as on the day that Solomon attained wisdom and recited Shir Hashirim. Then the face of the Queen shone, the King placed His residence with her, as it is written, "And Solomon's wisdom excelled..." (I Melachim 5:10). What is meant by "excelled?" IT MEANS THAT the beauty of the Queen increased, and her levels grew above all other levels SHE HAD EVER HAD, because the King put His residence with her. And why is all that? Because she produced this wise son.
326. When she produced Solomon, MEANING SHE INSPIRED HIM WITH HER WISDOM, she produced all Yisrael. All merited the high levels as Solomon, as the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoiced with them and they with Him. On the day that Solomon constructed the Temple below, the Queen prepared the house for the King, they placed their residence together, her face glowed with total joy. Then there was joy for all, above and below. Why so? Because it is written, "That his mother taught him," as she guided according to the King's wishes.
342. We have learned that Yisrael are detained in exile for three things: For treating the Shechinah with contempt in exile; for turning away their face from the Shechinah, AS IT IS WRITTEN, "FOR THEY HAVE TURNED THEIR BACK TO ME, AND NOT THEIR FACE" (YIRMEYAH 2:27). Finally, for defiling themselves before the Shechinah, WITHOUT CONSIDERING THAT THE SHECHINAH IS WITH THEM IN EXILE. We explained them all in our Mishnah.
343. Rabbi Aba was going to Cappadocia with Rabbi Yosi. As they were going, they saw a man approaching there who had a mark on his face. Rabbi Aba said: Let us leave this road as this man's face testifies that he transgressed the rules of incest in the Torah. Therefore, his face is marked. Rabbi Yosi replied: If he had this mark since childhood, what incest would be then with him? He replied: I see his face testifying that he transgressed on a sexual misconduct mentioned in the Torah.
345. He said to him: Who is the doctor? He replied: He is Rabbi Samlai. He asked: What cure did he give you? He replied: Spiritual healing. From that day, I returned with repentance. Every day I see my face in the mirror, WITHOUT ANY CHANGE. I have wept before the Holy One, blessed be He, 'ים ןד the Master of the world for that sin. With these tears, I have washed my face. Rabbi Aba said: If repentance would not have been withheld from you, I would have removed the impression on your face, but I will announce upon you, "And your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged" (Yeshayah 6:7). He told him to repeat this three times. He said it three times and the mark disappeared.
349. Furthermore, He began to say, "And my leanness rising up against me bears witness to my face" (Iyov 16:8). HE QUESTIONS: What is the verse speaking about? HE ANSWERS: Fortunate is the man who toils in Torah in order to recognize the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, for whoever toils in the Torah, it is as if he deals in His actual Name. Just as the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, creates laws IN THE WORLD, so does the Torah. Come and see: One who infringes with matters of Torah, the Torah rises and then descends to make impressions on the face of that person in order that those on high and those below see him. All send their curses upon his head, AND THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF THE VERSE, "AND MY LEANNESS RISING UP AGAINST ME BEARS WITNESS TO MY FACE," MEANING THE MARKS THE TORAH MADE IN HIS FACE.
350. We have learned that all these eyes of Hashem, THE ANGELS OF PROVIDENCE, go and roam throughout the world to learn of the actions of men. They raise their eyes and all look at the face of that person, see him, and open their mouths: Woe, woe, woe to him in this world and woe to him in the World to Come. Remove yourselves from around him, as his face testifies that the spirit of defilement rests upon him. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF THE VERSE, "BEARS WITNESS TO MY FACE," AS THE LEANNESS TESTIFIES TO HIS FACE. All these days, that mark testifies on his face. If he begets a son, he draws upon him the spirit of defilement. Such are the evildoers of the world, insolent people, whose Master allows them to stay in this world in order to vanquish them in the World to Come.
351. We have learned that the righteous who toils in Torah day and night, the Holy One, blessed be He, draws upon him a thread of grace, which is marked on his face. From that mark, both those on high and those below have fear. Likewise, whoever violates the words of Torah, a spirit of defilement is drawn upon him, which is marked on his face and causes those high and low to flee from before him. They all proclaim: Leave the vicinity of he, who violated the Torah and the commandments of his Master. Woe to him and to his soul, and this person draws the spirit of defilement that is with him and transmits it to his son. In such a man the Holy One, blessed be He has no part, and He spares him in order to destroy him in the World to Come.
352. Rabbi Aba said to him: You have spoken well. Where did you acquire this? He replied: I studied this. I also learned that this evil inheritance OF THE SPIRIT OF DEFILEMENT is acquired by all his children if they do not turn to penance, as nothing can stand in the way before repentance. So have I learned. This cure, NAMELY REPENTANCE, was given me once upon a time, when my face was marked. One day, I was walking and met one meritorious person, and through him was the mark removed from my face. He asked me my name. I replied Elazar. He announced me to be a different Elazar. RABBI ABA said to him: Blessed is the Merciful One that I have met you and deserved to see you accomplishing this. Blessed is your share in this world and the World to Come. It was I who met you.