168. Rabbi Shimon opened another discussion saying, "See now that I, even I am He, and there is no Elohim with Me" (Devarim 32:39). He said: Friends, listen to ancient words that I wish to reveal after permission from above has been granted for them to be said. HE ASKS: Who is he who said, "See now that I, even I, am He?" HE REPLIED: The cause above all causes, the one that is called the 'Cause of Causes,' IS NOT HIGH ABOVE ALL THE SUPERNAL BEINGS, BUT INSTEAD is a Cause among all the rest of the causes. So every single one of these causes shall not do anything unless it receives permission from the cause above it, as I have stated above in, "Let Us make man." IMA COULD NOT DO ANYTHING WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF ABA.
169. IN THE PHRASE: "Let Us make man..." (Beresheet 1:26), the use of "Us" assuredly alludes to two grades, as each LOWER GRADE said to the one above it, "Let Us make MAN." THE LOWER GRADE cannot do anything without permission from the one above it and the one above this one cannot do anything without permission from its higher neighbor. But the one that is called the Cause above all causes has no equal above nor below, as it is written: "'To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal,' says the Holy One" (Yeshayah 40:25). He said, "See now that I, I am he - and there is no Elohim with me..." (Devarim 32:39) from whom to take counsel - which is not like that about which it is written: "And Elohim said, Let Us make man..."-WHERE EVERY LOWER GRADE SPOKE TO AN UPPER GRADE.
170. All the friends stood up and said TO RABBI SHIMON, Rabbi, grant us permission to speak. Did you not state above that the Cause of Causes said to Keter, "Let Us make man." RABBI SHIMON replied: May your ears listen to what your mouths say. Did I not just now say that there is one who is called the Causes of Causes and that it is not the one that is called the Cause above all causes, because the Cause above all causes has no equal from whom to take advice. It is unique, prior to all, and cannot be joined with another.
171. Because of this, he said, "See now that I, even I am He, and there is no Elohim with Me" from whom to take counsel because it has no equal or partner or number. However, there is one that designates a combination; for example, a combination of male and female, about whom it is written: "For he was but one when I called him" (Yeshayah 51:2). But He is one without number and without combination. Therefore, it said, "And there is no Elohim with Me." They all rose, bowed before him and said, Happy is the man whose Master gives him consent to reveal hidden secrets that were not even revealed to the holy angels.
172. He said to them, Friends, we should complete this verse because it contains many secrets. "I kill, and make alive" (Devarim 32:39) MEANS THAT I kill and I make aliveby the Sfirot. From the right side, life ENSUES, and from the left side death ENSUES. But if both do not agree by mediation of the central pillar - unless all three settle together - Judgment cannot be carried out.
173. At times, all three agree to execute Judgment. Then an outstretched hand appears to accept those who repent. THAT HAND (HEB. YAD) IS EQUIVALENT TO FOURTEEN LETTERS: THE FOUR IN THE SIMPLE FORM OF THE Yud Hei Vav Hei AND TEN IN THE FULLY SPELLED NAME, Yud- Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. THE FOUR LETTERS ALLUDE TO THE SFIRAH OF KETER; THE OTHER TEN TO THE SFIRAH OF CHOCHMAH. This is the Shechinah, which is the right hand from the aspect of Chesed and the left hand from the aspect of Judgment. IT IS ALSO CALLED THE hand of Yud Hei Vav Hei from the aspect of the central pillar, THE ASPECT OF MERCY. THEREFORE, when a person repents, these fourteen letters save him from judgment. But when the cause high above all causes passes judgment, THE HAND IS NOT OUTSTRETCHED TO ACCEPT THE REPENTANT. ON THE CONTRARY, "neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand" (Devarim 32:39).
174. Furthermore, three times it has been said: "I" (Heb. ani), spelled with the letters Aleph-Nun-Yud. "I's" in this verse have three times Aleph IN THEIR BEGINNING AND three times Yud IN THEIR ENDING. THE THREE YUD'S are hinted at in THE COMBINATION OF THE NAME, WHICH ADDS UP TO SIXTY-THREE: Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Yud, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Yud. THE THREE ALEPH'S ARE HINTED AT IN YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH ADDS UP TO FORTY-FIVE: Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. The verse contains three Vav's ('and') IN "and I make alive..." "and I heal..." and "...and neither is..." They are also hinted at by these TWO names.
175. Even with all THE MAJESTY in the verse, the friends have explained it concerning other Elohim, as it is written: "See now that I, even I, am He" applies to the Holy One, blessed be He, and his Shechinah, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN AND HIS FEMALE PRINCIPLE. Of his Female principle, it is said, "I am (Aleph-Nun-Yud)," NAMELY THE SHECHINAH; He, NAMELY THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, CALLED Vav-Hei-Vav. The phrase: "And there is no Elohim with Me" ALLUDES TO Samael and the serpent; THAT IS, OTHER ELOHIM. THEN IT WOULD BE KNOWN THAT SAMAEL AND THE SERPENT NEVER CAME BETWEEN THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AND HIS SHECHINAH. "I kill, and I make alive" MEANS THAT THEN IT SHALL BE KNOWN THAT I kill with My Shechinah whoever is guilty and "I make alive" with Her whoever is righteous. The verse: "Neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand..." refers to the hand (Heb. yad), of Yud Hei Vav Hei, which has a numerical value of fourteen; THE FOUR LETTERS OF Yud Hei Vav Hei SIMPLY SPELLED AND THE TEN LETTERS OF THE FULLY SPELLED NAME WITH ALEPHS, AS Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph -Vav, Hei-Aleph; and it is also THE FOURTEEN LETTERS IN THE NAMES Caf- Vav-Zayin-Vav, Bet-Mem-Vav-Caf-Samech-Zayin, Caf-Vav-Zayin-Vav. All the explanations are true: THE FIRST EXPLANATION, THE SECOND ONE, AND THE ONE THAT THE FRIENDS OFFERED ABOUT THE VERSE. But what is said before is that it is the Cause of Causes - which is the Cause above all other - WHO SAID, "I, EVEN I AM HE." This secret was not even revealed to all the sages and prophets. IT WAS REVEALED ONLY TO THE CHOSEN FEW AMONG THEM.
176. Come and behold how many causes, NAMELY GRADES, are concealed AND NOT KNOWN. They are enclothed and enveloped by the Sfirot, which are Chariots to them. JUST AS A CHARIOT MANIFESTS THE EXISTENCE OF ITS DRIVER, SO THE SFIROT MAKE VISIBLE THE GRADES THAT ARE ENCLOTHED WITH THEM. These causes are hidden from the thoughts of man. Of them, it is written: "For there is a high one that watches over him that is high" (Kohelet 5:7). The lights become brighter AS EACH HIGHER LIGHT IS BRIGHTER THAN ITS NEIGHBOR. So the recipients are dimmer than those above them are because they are the recipients, AND THAT WHICH IS LOWER THAN ITS NEIGHBOR IS DIMMER THAN ITS NEIGHBOR. No light can bear the presence of the Cause of Causes, because all lights are darkened AND ARE DIMINISHED before it.