7. Rabbi Chiya said: One day I was traveling to Rabbi Shimon to be taught by him the laws of the Pesach (Passover). I encountered a mountain and I saw clefts and cavities in one rock, and two men were in there. As I approached, I heard the voices of these people who were saying, "A song, a psalm for the sons of Korah, Great is Hashem and highly to be praised..." (Tehilim 48:1-2). Why "A song, a psalm?" HE ANSWERS: Thus do we learn on behalf of Rabbi Shimon: The song is two-fold, NAMELY A SONG AND A PSALM, and since it is a better song than other songs, it is named "song" twice. Similarly, "A psalm, a poem for the Shabbat day" (Tehilim 92:1), MEANING THAT IT IS MORE PRAISEWORTHY THAN OTHER SONGS. In the same fashion, "the song of songs which is Solomon's" (Shir Hashirim 1:1), INDICATING a song that stands above all other songs.
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).
71. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, "Behold the bed of Solomon sixty valiant men are round about it..." (Shir Hashirim 3:7). "Behold the bed of Solomon:" What is meant by "his litter?" It refers to the throne of glory of the King, NAMELY MALCHUT CALLED BED. It is written about it, "The heart of her husband safely trusts in her" (Mishlei 31:11) and Solomon (Heb. Shlomo) REFERS TO the King that the peace (Heb. shalom) is His, REFERRING TO ZEIR ANPIN. "Sixty valiant men are round about it:" They are attached to MALCHUT'S aspect of harsh Judgment and are connoted as sixty fire guards, MEANING SIXTY GUARDIANS FROM FIRE. That youth, MEANING METATRON, clothes himself with them.
83. This bed, NAMELY MALCHUT, includes them, NAMELY ALL THOSE LEVELS MENTIONED ABOVE. This bed's legs link to the four directions of the world, MEANING IT CONTAINS IN IT THE FOUR SFIROT OF CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT - WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THREE COLUMNS AND MALCHUT THAT RECEIVES THEM. Everything is counted, BOTH what there is above, NAMELY THE GRADES OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND what is below, NAMELY HER OWN GRADES. THIS IS THE SECRET OF "in heaven above," NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, "and upon the earth beneath" (Devarim 4:39), NAMELY MALCHUT, KNOWN AS EARTH. Therefore, it is written, "Behold," MEANING "BEHOLD THE BED OF SOLOMON." What is meant by "Behold?" It means it is ready TO SHED LIGHT to all above and below, and this bed is impressed by all. It is called Adonai, which means master (Heb. adon) over all, marked among its armies.
89. Rabbi Yesa opened the discussion saying, "And Hashem gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon..." (I Melachim 5:26). "And Hashem gave Solomon wisdom:" This is what we learned that during the days of King Solomon, the moon, DENOTING MALCHUT, remained in its fullness; THEN MALCHUT IS CALLED CHOCHMAH, AS MENTIONED. And He gave it to Solomon "as he promised him," MEANING as was said to him, "Wisdom and knowledge are granted to you" (II Divrei Hayamim 1:12).
90. "And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon:" HE ASKS: What is THE CONNECTION between them? HE ANSWERS: We have learned that "Hashem gave Solomon wisdom." How did he establish this wisdom? Rabbi Yosi said: This is how he established this wisdom. Solomon caused Hiram to descend from that level where he said, "I sit in the seat of Elohim" (Yechezkel 28:2). We have learned that Hiram, King of Tyre, announced himself a deity, MEANING HE WAS DEVOTED TO OTHER ELOHIM WHO DRAW CHOCHMAH FROM ABOVE DOWNWARD, AS MENTIONED, AND BEHAVED LIKE THEM. Afterwards, SOLOMON came and, with his wisdom, caused Hiram to depart from this counsel OF OTHER ELOHIM. Thus, he thanked Solomon for this. For this reason, "there was peace between Hiram and Solomon."
91. We have learned that Rabbi Yitzchak said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda: SOLOMON sent TO HIRAM a demon that lowered him to the seven chambers of Gehenom, and then raised him up. Then, he sent him letters daily until he repented FROM HIS DEEDS, and thanked Solomon ABOUT THIS. We have learned that Solomon inherited the moon, DENOTING MALCHUT, in all its aspects, BOTH CHOCHMAH AND CHASSADIM, for he ruled over all this with his wisdom. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai ruled with his wisdom over mankind, and all those that rise to his level only rise to perfect MALCHUT with him.
140. As they were going, they stayed in a field and prayed. A fiery cloud descended and surrounded them. Rabbi Shimon said: I believe that the wish of the Holy One, blessed be He, is here. Let us sit down. They sat and discussed words of Torah. He said, "As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country" (Mishlei 25:25). I examined the words of King Solomon and found that they were said with wisdom.
141. Come and see that Solomon did present to the world three books of wisdom and all contain heavenly wisdom. Shir Hashirim represents wisdom, Kohelet represents understanding and Mishlei represents knowledge. Corresponding to these three, NAMELY CHOCHMAH, BINAH AND DA'AT, he formulated these books - Shir Hashirim corresponds to Chochmah, Kohelet to Tevunah, and Mishlei to Da'at. THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE THREE COLUMNS. How is this shown? HE ANSWERS: All these verses appear in two styles. The beginning OF THE VERSE and the end OF THE VERSE appear as two distinct styles, MEANING IT SPEAKS ABOUT TWO SUBJECTS, THE ASPECTS OF THE TWO COLUMNS, RIGHT AND LEFT. When you examine the verses, you find that they are each comprised in the other, THAT THE TWO SUBJECTS IN THE VERSE ARE INCLUDED ONE IN THE OTHER. For this reason, it is equivalent to Da'at, THE SECRET OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN THAT INCLUDES RIGHT AND LEFT TOGETHER. FROM HERE, WE DERIVE THAT ALL HIS WORDS APPEAR IN THE SECRET OF THE THREE COLUMNS AND SO HIS BOOKS ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE COLUMNS, NAMELY CHOCHMAH, BINAH AND DA'AT.
264. When the world needs mercy, the living go and inform the Nefashot (Heb. plural) of the righteous, and weep on their graves. Those who are worthy to inform the righteous men: what is the reason THEY ARE WORTHY? BECAUSE they concentrate on clinging to Nefesh with Nefesh; then the Nefashot of the righteous awaken, assemble, fly to the slumberers of Hebron, inform them of the distress of the world, and they all ascend to the door of the Garden of Eden to inform the Ruach. These Ruchot (Heb. plural) that are adorned in the Garden of Eden, with celestial angels going among them, all inform the Neshamah, the Neshamah informs the Holy One, blessed be He, and all beg for mercy for the living. And the Holy One, blessed be He, shows Mercy to the world on their behalf. This is what Solomon meant in, "So I praised the dead that are already dead."
271. Rabbi Chizkiyah and Rabbi Yesa left. They said surely when there are no righteous men in the world, the world will survive only by the merits of the deceased. Rabbi Yesa said: When the world needs rain, why do people go to the deceased TO PRAY? Does it not say about "one who inquires of the dead" that it is prohibited? He replied: You have not perceived the wing of the bird in Eden, REFERRING TO THE SECRET OF BINAH, MEANING YOU HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE LEVEL OF BINAH, SINCE THE VERSE "one who inquires of the dead" literally means the dead, denoting the world's evildoers from the idolatrous nations that are always dead, AS THE WICKED EVEN DURING THEIR LIFETIME ARE CALLED DEAD. But about Yisrael, who are truly righteous, Solomon said, "So I praised the dead that are already dead" (Kohelet 4:2), those that have already died at a different time, MEANING THEY GAVE THEMSELVES FOR THE TORAH, but not this time. They have already died, and now they are alive.
279. We have learned, what did this pious woman contemplate that she did such a thing? HE ANSWERS: She understood from being in the house of her father-in-law the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY how He conducts this world with its human beings. Because she knew this, the Holy One, blessed be He, set up this matter to happen through her. This matter goes along the same line, as we have learned. Batsheba was designated FOR DAVID from the six days of Creation to be the mother of King Solomon. Here too, Tamar was designated for this from the creation of the world.
324. The secret of the matter, it is written, "The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy, that his mother taught him" (Mishlei 31:1). His mother is Batsheba, NAMELY, THE SECRET OF MALCHUT CALLED BATSHEBA (LIT. 'DAUGHTER OF SEVEN'). We have learned that it is written, "The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the grief of his mother" (Mishlei 10:1). Assuredly he is the grief of his mother. See what is written, "A wise son makes a glad father," MEANING so long as the son walks in a straight path, and he is wise, he "makes a glad father." This refers to the Holy King above, MEANING ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written, "Makes a glad father" without specifying, WHICH POINTS TO THE FATHER ABOVE. AND IF this son is on a stumbling manner, it is written, "But a foolish son is the grief of his mother." For sure it is the grief of his mother, referring to the Congregation of Yisrael, DENOTING MALCHUT. The secret of the matter is the words, "And for your transgressions was your mother put away" (Yeshayah 50:1), WHO IS MALCHUT.
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.
353. THIS MAN ELAZAR prostrated himself before him. He brought him home, prepared three measures of bread and a three year old calf. After eating, the man said to him: Rabbi, tell me one thing. I had a red cow, the mother of this calf whose flesh we are eating. One day, before she became pregnant and gave birth, I followed her to her pasture in the desert. As I led her, a man came by and asked me for the name of the cow. I replied that from the day she was born, I never called her by name. He said to me: Batsheba, mother of Solomon, is she called if you merit forgiveness FOR YOUR SINS. When I turned around, I saw him no more. I laughed at this thing.
374. BINAH DOES NOT SUSTAIN ZEIR ANPIN, because the King without the Queen is not crowned with the crowns of Ima, as He used to be in the beginning when He was joined with the Queen, WHEN IMA USED TO ADORN HIM with several crowns, numerous lights, with supernal holy crowns, as it is written, "Go forth, daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown with which his mother crowned him..." (Shir Hashirim 3:11). When He joined with the Queen, supernal Ima crowned Him properly. Now that the King is not with the Queen, the supernal Ima takes back her crowns, withholds from Him the sources of the streams and He is not part of the one connection. CONSEQUENTLY, He is not found to be one, so to speak.
390. He who wishes to know AND TO UNDERSTAND the permutations of the Holy Names NEEDS to know these letters marked in every individual Sfirah; then he will know and have power in everything. We copied them with the letters written in and specific to every Sfirah from the supernal book of Solomon. We succeeded in this and the friends wrote them. It is well THAT THEY WROTE THEM, as every Sfirah lends letters, WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO KNOW AND REMEMBER, to its neighbor, as we established IN THE ADJACENT PARAGRAPH. Sometimes it is only necessary TO KNOW those letters listed in THE SFIRAH itself, BUT NOT THE LETTERS LENT TO IT. The friends know this and we have established this.