176. "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their hosts" (Beresheet 2:1). Rabbi Elazar quoted, "How great is Your goodness which You have laid out for those who fear You. You have wrought for them who put their trust in You, before the sons of men" (Tehilim 31:20). Come and behold: The Holy One, blessed be He, created man in the world. He gave him the abilities to perfect himself in His service and to correct his ways so as to merit the supernal light that the Holy One, blessed be He, saved for the righteous. As it is written: "neither has the eye seen, that Elohim, besides You" (Yeshayah 64:3) ALLUDING TO THE STORED LIGHT. The words, "should do such a thing for him that waits for Him," REFER TO THE RIGHTEOUS.
177. And how can one merit this STORED light? THE ANSWER IS, only through CONSTANT OCCUPATION WITH Torah. He who occupies himself with Torah every day merits a place in the World to Come, and it is considered as if he had built worlds. Through Torah, the world was built and completed. Thus, the words, "Hashem founded the earth with wisdom, He established the heavens with understanding" (Mishlei 3:19), REFER TO THE WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING FOUND IN TORAH. And it is also written, "And I was by Him, as a nurseling (Heb. amon); and I was daily His delight" (Mishlei 8:30), WHICH MEANS THAT TORAH WAS HIS CRAFTSMANSHIP (HEB. UMANUT) IN CREATING THE WORLD. Thus, whoever is occupied IN TORAH completes and preserves the worlds. Come and behold: The Holy One, blessed be He, made the world by a breath and by a breath it is preserved. IT IS PRESERVED BY the breath of the mouths of those who study Torah. It is preserved even more by the breath of the children in the houses of learning, BECAUSE THE WORLD IS PRESERVED BY IT.
178. FURTHERMORE, "How great is Your goodness" refers to the hidden good, OR THE STORED LIGHT. "Those who fear You" relates to those who fear wrongdoing - THOSE WHO OCCUPY THEMSELVES CONSTANTLY WITH TORAH - FOR WHOM THE LIGHT WAS STORED. "You have wrought for them who trust in You." HE ASKS: What is the meaning of "wrought," AND HE RESPONDS THAT it refers to the works of Creation. THE WHOLE OF CREATION DID NOT COME ABOUT, AND COULD NOT BE MAINTAINED, IF NOT FOR THOSE WHO STUDY TORAH, THOSE WHO CAN DRAW, THROUGH THEIR LEARNING, UPON THE STORED LIGHT. Rabbi Aba said: THE WORD "WROUGHT" refers to the Garden of Eden, which the Holy One, blessed be He, crafted on earth in the image of the supernal Garden of Eden for the righteous to reinforce themselves. The words are "wrought for them who put their trust in You, which You had laid out for those who fear You before the sons of men," because THE LOWER GARDEN OF EDEN is for humans and the other one - THE SUPERNAL GARDEN OF EDEN - is only for supernal holy beings, NOT FOR PEOPLE. Rabbi Shimon said: THE WORD "WROUGHT" REFERS TO the supernal Garden of Eden, but even so, it is for the "sons of men." For there gather the righteous, who do the will of their Master. ALTHOUGH THE UPPER GARDEN OF EDEN IS NOT FOR HUMANS, THE RIGHTEOUS IN THE LOWER GARDEN OF EDEN RISE THROUGH THE AIR INTO THE UPPER GARDEN OF EDEN. EVEN THOUGH THE RIGHTEOUS MUST DESCEND AND RETURN TO THEIR PLACES, THE UPPER GARDEN IS STILL CONSIDERED FOR PEOPLE.
179. "were finished" indicates that all the work that was to be done, both above and below, was finished, for "the heavens and the earth" represent above and below. THE WORD "HEAVENS" ALLUDES TO THE HIGHER WORLDS ABOVE, AND EARTH ALLUDES TO THE LOWER WORLDS BELOW. Rabbi Shimon said: THE WORD "HEAVENS" ALLUDES TO THE COMPLETION OF the works and craftsmanship of the Written Torah, THAT IS, THE STRUCTURE OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS CALLED "THE WRITTEN TORAH." And THE WORD "EARTH" REFERS TO THE COMPLETION OF the works and craftsmanship of the Oral Torah, THAT IS, THE STRUCTURE OF THE NUKVA CALLED "ORAL TORAH." THE WORD "WORKS" REFERS TO THE SIX EXTREMITIES OF ZEIR ANPIN AND "CRAFTS" REFERS TO THE TOP THREE SFIROT. "All their hosts" refers to the details of Torah, the seventy alternative aspects of Torah, WHICH ARE THE DETAILS OF THE STRUCTURE OF ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED "TORAH." "THUS THE HEAVENS AND EARTH were finished" MEANS that both ZEIR ANPIN AND THE NUKVA, CALLED HEAVEN AND EARTH, can coexist and complement each other. The heavens and the earth are particular and general. "And all their hosts" are the SECRETS of Torah and the rules of cleanliness and uncleanness in Torah.