58. The following precept is to discuss the laws concerning locusts. We learned that fish and locusts do not require slaughter, but it is their gathering that makes it permissible to eat them. Such are the sages of the Mishnah. They do not need slaughtering BY THE ANGEL OF DEATH but it says of them, "and expired, and was gathered to his people" (Beresheet 49:33). Just as the fish of the sea live in the sea, so do the Torah students and the sages of the Mishnah live in the sea, and if they are separated from the Torah they immediately die. THEY ARE the crocodiles of the Mishnah wherein grow the sea crocodiles. And if those who live on dry land, NAMELY THOSE WHO HAVE NO TORAH IN THEM, fall into the water, NAMELY INTO THE TORAH, but cannot swim, NAMELY A STUDENT WHO DID NOT BECOME A TEACHER YET TEACHES, they die. But 'Man,' who are the Kabbalah sages are above all. Of them it says, "and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air" (Beresheet 1:28), who are the Mishnah sages the crocodiles. The great crocodile is "the flying (Heb. bariach) serpent" (Yeshayah 27:1) that corresponds to "the middle bar (Heb. bariach) in the midst of the boards" (Shemot 26:28), WHICH IS THE CENTRAL COLUMN, TIFERET.