67. They went. As they were going, they reached the home of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair. Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair came out, kissed RABBI SHIMON, and said: I have earned the right to kiss the Shechinah. How fortunate is my lot. He set up for them expensive bed sheets. Rabbi Shimon said: The Torah does not require this. He removed THE SPREADS and they sat down. Rabbi Pinchas said: Before we eat, we will hear a discourse from the master of Torah, as all the words of Rabbi Shimon are open as a revelation. He is a man who need not be afraid from above or below of preaching them. He fears not what is above, as the Holy One, blessed be He, agrees with him. He is also not fearful of those below, just as a lion fears not the flock of sheep. Rabbi Shimon said to Rabbi Elazar, his son: Elazar, stand where you are and recite a novel Torah interpretation before Rabbi Pinchas and the other friends.
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.
407. Happy is the generation that Rabbi Shimon dwells therein. Happy is his lot among the higher and lower beings. Regarding him, it is written, "Happy are you, O land, when your king is free" (Kohelet 10:17). What is meant by "free?" His head stands straight and he states matters without fear, as one who is free. He says what he wants and fears not. Who is "your king?" This refers to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, master of Torah, master of wisdom. When Rabbi Aba and the sages would see Rabbi Shimon, they would run after him saying, "They shall walk after Hashem, who shall roar like a lion" (Hoshea 11:10).