4. Rabbi Aba said, "Serve Hashem in fear:" What fear is meant here? IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION IN THIS CONTEXT OF FEAR? HE ANSWERS: As we have established, it is written, "The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge" (Mishlei 1:7) and "the fear of Hashem is the beginning of wisdom" (Tehilim 111:10), so the Holy One, blessed be He, is referred to in this name, "Fear of Hashem," NAMELY MALCHUT. Rabbi Elazar said: IN EXPLANATION OF RABBI ABA'S WORDS, "Serve Hashem in fear," MEANING he who wishes to perform the service of his Master, from what point should he begin and to which area should he aim his service in order to unify the name of his Master? He repeats his words "with fear," because fear, WHICH IS MALCHUT, is the start OF SERVICE going from below upwards, AS THE FIRST SFIRAH GOING FROM BELOW UPWARDS IS MALCHUT.
34. We have learned that this river gave forth deep streams, WHICH REPRESENT THE THREE SFIROT - CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET OF ZEIR ANPIN - with the anointing oil to replenish the Garden of Eden, WHICH IS MALCHUT, and water the trees and plants, NAMELY THE SFIROT OF MALCHUT. Of this, it is written, "The trees of Hashem have their fill; the cedars of Lebanon, which He has planted" (Tehilim 104:16). These streams, NAMELY CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, flow and continue on and join two pillars that the Baraithas refer to as Yachin and Boaz, NAMELY NETZACH AND HOD. These NAMES are appropriate. From there, NETZACH AND HOD come out all these streams, NAMELY CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, and rest in a certain level referred to as Righteous, NAMELY YESOD, as it is written, "But the righteous is an everlasting foundation (Heb. yesod)" (Mishlei 10:25). All together they join in that level referred to as "sea" that is the sea of wisdom, NAMELY MALCHUT. This is the meaning of the verse, "All the rivers run into the sea" (Kohelet 1:7).
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.
101. Now, LET US EXPLAIN this verse from the standpoint of the secret of wisdom. Come and see, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden" (Beresheet 2:10). This river, DENOTING BINAH, spreads on all sides when this Eden, NAMELY CHOCHMAH, joins with it in complete union in this path not known above or below, DENOTING YESOD OF CHOCHMAH, as in the verse, "There is a path which no bird of prey knows" (Iyov 28:7). Thus, CHOCHMAH AND BINAH desire not to part from one another. Then fountains and streams exit FROM THEM, DENOTING THE MOCHIN OF ZEIR ANPIN, and crown the holy son, ZEIR ANPIN THE SON OF YUD HEI, with all these crowns, DENOTING MOCHIN. It is then written, "With the crown with which his mother crowned him" (Shir Hashirim 3:11), DENOTING MOCHIN ALSO KNOWN AS CROWN. At that time, that son ZEIR ANPIN will inherit the inheritance of his father and mother, NAMELY THE MOCHIN THAT EXUDES FROM THE UNION OF CHOCHMAH AND BINAH THAT ARE REFERRED TO AS ABA AND IMA. Then, He will delight in pleasures.
103. Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion saying, "And he looked, and behold a well in the field...And there were all the flocks gathered" (Beresheet 29:2-3). These verses need to be examined, as they contain the secret of wisdom that I learned from my father. So I learned, "And he looked, and behold a well in the field." What is the "well?" It is the one mentioned in "the well that the princes dug out, that the nobles of the people delved" (Bemidbar 21:18), MEANING MALCHUT THAT IS EMBELLISHED FROM ABA AND IMA REFERRED TO AS PRINCES. "And, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it" (Beresheet 29:2): These represent Netzach, Hod and Yesod, which rest by it and stand over it. From them the well was filled with blessings.
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.
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.
211. Ra'aya Meheimna (the Faithful Shepherd). The Faithful Shepherd, NAMELY THE SOUL OF MOSES, said, at that time, BEFORE THE COMING OF MESSIAH, the Mishnah scholars, sages of supernal wisdom, scholars of Kabbalah, scholars of the secrets in the Torah, will have a time of hardship, AS THEY HAVE NOTHING TO SUPPORT THEM. This is the meaning of, "As the hart (Heb. ayal) pants after the water brooks" (Tehilim 42:2) as they, NAMELY THE SAGES MENTIONED EARLIER, are springs of water of Torah flowing to the Shechinah, AS TORAH IS REFERRED TO AS WATER. Torah is the central pillar, MEANING ZEIR ANPIN, THE CENTRAL COLUMN. These springs of water, NAMELY THE SAGES MENTIONED EARLIER FROM WHICH COMES FORTH TORAH MEANING WATER, are in distress, in sadness and in poverty. These are the pains and distresses of the one who has given birth, namely the Shechinah, as it is written in regard to Her, "And let her who bore you rejoice" (Mishlei 23:25). She will be in those labor pains, MEANING with their distress OF THE SCHOLARS OF WISDOM AND TORAH, AS MENTIONED, AS THEIR AGONY IS CONSIDERED AS THE LABOR PAINS OF THE SHECHINAH.
213. At that time, She is opened to give birth to the Messiah. This is owing to the pain and distress of the pious, men of good qualities, sages of secrets of the Torah, people of humility and shame, of fear and love, of kindness, men of valor, fearing Elohim, truthful men, who despise bribes, for whom it is a time of poverty. This is what the sages of the Mishnah have explained. In the times in which the son of David will come, a valiant men will go circulating from city to city but will not be shown favor. Those that fear sin will be despised and the wisdom of scribes will be sullied. Truth will be absent and the vine will give its fruit but wine will be expensive.
227. "Now there was found in it a poor (Heb. misken) wise man" (Kohelet 9:15). This resembles what is written, "He that has clean hands, and a pure heart" (Tehilim 24:4). HE IS CALLED "Misken" in accordance with the words, "And they built for Pharaoh treasure (Heb. miskenot) cities" (Shemot 1:11), MEANING he is crowned with crowns of strength, with the crowns of Torah and with the crowns of the Torah precepts of the King. He is called wise, because he merits wisdom, AS MALCHUT IS CALLED THE LOWER CHOCHMAH BECAUSE IN HER CHOCHMAH REVEALED, AS MENTIONED. ALSO, HE IS CALLED wise, because he is wiser than all PEOPLE to contemplate the service of his Master, so he may gain enough merit to enter that service. This is the idea of the verse, "And he by his wisdom saved the city" and "saved" is to be understood as, "Let me go away, I pray you, and see my brothers" (I Shmuel 20:29). Also, "let me escape there" (Beresheet 19:20) SPEAKS ABOUT RESCUE. Here also, "And he by his wisdom saved the city:" THROUGH HIS MEDITATION, HE SAVED IT FROM THE EXTERNAL FORCES FEEDING UPON IT.
228. "Yet no man remembered that poor man" (Kohelet 9:15) MEANING THAT no one remembered to perform the commandment of the Torah and to toil in the Torah as that poor man that joined to everything in order to merit it. "Then said I, wisdom is better than strength" (Kohelet 9:16), MEANING permission to enter that world is given only to truly righteous men, to those who toil in Torah day and night, as well as crown themselves with the commandments of the Torah in this world to arrive with them in the World to Come.
229. "Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard" (Ibid.). As people do not WISH TO look at him, they do not want to be with him and pay attention to his words. We have learned that all who pay attention to the words of Torah are fortunate in this world. It is as if they have received the Torah from Sinai. One should even listen to words of the Torah from anyone. One who lends an ear to him gives honor to the Holy King and glory to the Torah, and about him is written, "This day you are become the people of Hashem your Elohim" (Devarim 27:9).
288. Rabbi Aba said: This portion is tied to esoteric wisdom of the Torah. It is all concealed yet revealed, MEANING THERE IS IN IT ESOTERIC AND LITERAL EXPLANATIONS. The entire Torah is similar this way, IN HIDDEN SUBLIME MEANINGS AND THE LITERAL EXPLANATIONS. There is not a matter of Torah in which the Holy subliminal Name is not impressed, which is both concealed and revealed. The concealed matters of Torah are bequeathed to the highly saintly ones and THE REVEALED MATTERS are revealed to the rest of the people. In relation to this, it is written, "That men may declare the name of Hashem in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem" (Tehilim 102:22). "In Zion" refers to the Temple, where it is permitted to pronounce the Holy Name, YUD HEI VAV HEI, in the proper fashion. However, outside THE TEMPLE, only the appelation can be mentioned, NAMELY ADONAI, BUT NOT THE WAY IT IS WRITTEN. Everything is concealed and yet revealed, AS THE NAME, YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH ONE IS FORBIDDEN TO MENTION, IS CONCEALED, BUT THE NAME ADONAI WHICH WE MENTION IS REVEALED. ALL MATTERS ARE IN THIS WAY. We have learned that anyone who deducts one letter from the Torah or adds one letter is like one who is false to the supernal Holy Name of the King.
303. Come and see: The first subject of the Torah we give to children is the Alphabet. This is a matter that mankind cannot comprehend, nor can it rise in their minds, not to mention saying it with their mouths. Even supernal angels and the most sublime cannot comprehend it, as these matters are the mysteries of the Holy Name. There are 14,050,000 worlds dependent upon the stroke of the Aleph א, MEANING THE STROKE OF THE UPPER YUD OF THE ALEPH, and 72 holy names are engraved in the impressed letters in them. The high and low beings; heaven, earth and the seat of glory of the King - are hanging from one side to the other side, MEANING FROM THE UPPER STROKE TO THE LOWER STROKE of the expansion of the Aleph. They sustain all the worlds and are the supports of the upper and lower beings within the secret of wisdom.
304. Concealed paths, THE SECRET OF THE 32 PATHS OF CHOCHMAH, and deep rivers, THE SECRET OF THE SFIROT OF BINAH, ten sayings, THE SECRET OF THE TEN SFIROT OF DA'AT THAT UNIFIES CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, DENOTING THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH, BINAH AND DA'AT OF ZEIR ANPIN, all come out AND FLOW INTO THE WORLDS from the lower tip underneath the Aleph. FOR THE LOWER YUD OF THE ALEPH IS THE SECRET OF MALE AND FEMALE, AS MENTIONED, WHOSE LIGHTS FLOW THROUGH THE LOWER TIP OF THE YUD. THEREFORE, IT IS COLLECTIVE, AS ALL ARE COLLECTED WITHIN THE ALEPH. From here on begin THE LIGHTS OF Aleph to spread to the Bet. One cannot keep track of the wisdom that is engraved here.
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.
354. Now that I have merited Torah, I have been rushed up again about that matter. From the day Rabbi Samlai departed from here, there was no one who could shed light on Torah as he. I fear to state words of Torah that I have not learned. The thing THAT MAN TOLD ME, I have realized it to be a matter of wisdom, but I do not understand it. He replied: It surely is a matter of wisdom, being a supernal hint above and below.
355. Come and see: SHE, THE RED COW, is actually called Batsheba according to the secret of wisdom, DENOTING MALCHUT NAMED COW FROM HER LEFT ASPECT, AS THE MALE IS CALLED AN OX AND THE FEMALE A COW. SHE IS RED DUE TO GVUROT. That is why everything referring to her is in sevens, FOR IN THE CHAPTER THERE IS MENTION OF cow seven TIMES; ALSO, seven burnings, seven sprinkles, seven washings, seven unclean, seven clean and seven priests with Moses and Aaron included in the count of seven. THEY ARE ALSO CALLED PRIESTS, as it is written IN THE CHAPTER, "And Hashem spoke to Moses and Aaron..." (Bemidbar 19:2). That man that spoke of Batsheba (lit. 'daughter of seven') spoke very well. All this pertains to the secret of wisdom.
380. Rabbi Aba said, "Through wisdom a house is built" (Mishlei 24:3). What is a house built with Chochmah? Some say it is the river flowing from Eden, MEANING BINAH. For this reason it is WRITTEN, "born at home," MEANING MALCHUT BORN FROM BINAH CONSIDERED A HOUSE FOR CHOCHMAH. "Or born abroad," MEANING when MALCHUT comes out of the Vav, BEING ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written WHEN ADAM, ZEIR ANPIN, SAID ABOUT EVE, MALCHUT, "Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" (Beresheet 2:23). It is also written, "And He took one of his sides" (Ibid. 21), SO MALCHUT IS COMING OUT FROM ZEIR ANPIN. This is "born abroad," from the place where Zeir Anpin is, WHICH IS CONSIDERED ON THE OUTSIDE OF IMA, as we have learned.
386. HE SAYS: Vav consists of six letters, MEANING IT IS MADE UP OF SIX LETTERS FROM ALEPH TO VAV THAT PRECEDE IT. The Yud includes them all, AS THE YUD CONTAINS ALL NINE LETTERS THAT PRECEDE IT, AMONG WHICH IS THE VAV AND THE SIX LETTERS INCLUDED THEREIN. THIS IS THE YUD THAT IS ABOVE THE VAV, AS MENTIONED. This Yud is engraved with marks, MEANING WITH THE INCLUSION OF THE NINE LETTERS THAT PRECEDE IT, and ascends TO THE YUD OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, THAT INCLUDES ALL 22 LETTERS to be crowned with the twelve other letters FROM YUD TO TAV. THEN IT IS ALSO PART OF THE 22 LETTERS LIKE THE YUD OF YUD HEI VAV HEI. THEN ten engraved sayings, MEANING TEN SFIROT, come out of it, and all of the paths of the supernal most precious way. Then the other Hei OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, MALCHUT, contains them all, MEANING, IT RECEIVES FROM ALL LIGHTS AS MENTIONED, carved from the part of the concealed peg, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, to give birth below, MEANING TO BE WORTHY TO BEAR SOULS.
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).
410. We have learned that it is written, "This is the burnt offering of every Shabbat, beside (lit. 'over') the continual burnt offering" (Bemidbar 28:10), MEANING one needs to aim his heart much higher this day than other days. Therefore, "over the continual burnt offering" is to be understood literally, AS "OVER" IS TO BE EXPLAINED ABOVE THE CONTINUAL OFFERING. We have learned that it is written concerning Hannah, "And prayed to (lit. 'over') Hashem" (I Shmuel 1:10). "Over" literally, MEANING ABOVE HASHEM, ZEIR ANPIN, as children are dependent on the holy Mazal, THE BEARD OF ARICH ANPIN. We have established this TO BE HIGHER THAN ZEIR ANPIN. Not a single thing in the Torah, or small letter in the Torah, does not hint at the supernal wisdom. Mounds and mounds (Heb. tilim) of supernal wisdom depend upon it. This is the meaning of, "His locks (Heb. taltalim) are wavy" (Shir Hashirim 5:11), as we have already learned.