432. Rabbi Yehuda expounded upon the verse: "Come, behold the works of Elohim, who has made desolations in the earth" (Tehilim 46:9). He said that this text has been explained, but if the world would have been created by Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph, A NAME INDICATIVE OF MERCY, then it would have given earth a firm structure. But since it was created by the works of Elohim, WHICH IS JUDGMENT, a desolation, A WASTELAND, He "has" made desolations in the of earth." IT SEEMS THE ZOHAR HAD A DIFFERENT VERSION, BECAUSE IN OUR SCRIPTURES IT IS WRITTEN, 'THE WORKS OF HASHEM'.
433. Rabbi Chiya said to him: Although you believe THAT DESOLATIONS (HEB. SHAMOT) SIGNIFIES A WASTELAND (HEB. SHEMAMAH), I see it differently, because both the names YUD HEI VAV HEI AND ELOHIM indicate benevolence. I tend to agree with the friends in saying that he had placed "shemot (Eng. 'names') in the earth." SHEMOT ALLUDES TO ACTUAL NAMES THAT HE PUT IN THE EARTH.
434. Rabbi Yitzchak said that both interpretations are true, and even the one put forward by Rabbi Yehuda is good. For if the world WAS CREATED with the name of Mercy, then the world would have been resilient. Yet because the world was created by Judgment and is founded upon Judgment, He put Holy Names in the earth TO PROTECT IT, and this is very true, because had He not done so, the world would not have been able to survive the consequences of people's sins.
435. Come and behold: when Noah was born, he was given that name, because it connoted consolation (Heb. nechamah), indicating that he would bring consolation. Yet, the Holy One, blessed be He, did not agree WITH THEM. HE BROUGHT THE FLOOD UPON THEM, BECAUSE HE WANTED THEM TO CORRECT THEIR WAYS AND REPENT. The letters of Noah's name (Nun and Chet), when written in reverse order, form the word chen, which means favor. This is as it was written: "Noah found favor in the eyes of Hashem" (Beresheet 6:8). Rabbi Yosi said that Chen is Noah FOR THEY ARE SPELLED WITH THE SAME LETTERS. The names of the righteous IN ANY SEQUENCE cause beneficence. The names of the wicked IN ANY SEQUENCE cause THEM harm. Of Noah it was said, "Noah found favor (Heb. chen) in the eyes of Hashem," BECAUSE THE LETTERS WERE REVERSED FOR GOOD. But of Er, the son of Judah, the letters were reversed for lack of merit and harm, as it is written: "And Er (Ayin Resh) was evil (Heb. ra, Resh Ayin) in the eyes of Hashem" (Beresheet 38:7).
436. Come and behold: when Noah was born, he saw that people were sinning before the Holy One, blessed be He. He used to hide himself so as not to be drawn to their ways, and he occupied himself with serving his Master. You may well ask, With what did he occupy himself? HE STUDIED the books of Adam and Enoch, and he struggled TO LEARN from those books how to worship his Master.
437. Come and behold: he indeed STUDIED THE BOOKS OF ADAM AND ENOCH because otherwise, how would Noah have known how to offer sacrifices to his Master? He found wisdom relating to the maintenance of the world IN THE BOOKS OF ADAM AND ENOCH. AND FROM THESE BOOKS, he learned that the world exists for the sake of sacrifices. Were it not for the sacrifices, neither the upper nor lower beings would have existed. HENCE, HE OFFERED A SACRIFICE.
438. Rabbi Shimon was on his way, accompanied by Rabbi Elazar, his son, Rabbi Yosi, and Rabbi Chiya. As they were going, Rabbi Elazar said to his father, "The road is clear before us, and we would like to hear words of Torah."
439. Rabbi Shimon began to speak of the words, "Even when a fool walks by the way, his heart fails him" (Kohelet 10:3). When a man wants to make his ways worthy before the Holy One, blessed be He, he should, before he proceeds, consult Him and pray to Him, so that He should ensure his journey. This is as we have learned regarding the verse, "Righteousness shall go before him, and walks in the way of his steps" (Tehilim 85:14), meaning that HE SHOULD PRAY THAT the Shechinah, CALLED 'RIGHTEOUSNESS,' should not part from him. ONLY AFTER HE HAS PRAYED SHOULD HE GO ON HIS WAY.
440. Of he who has no faith in his Master, it is written: "Even when a fool walks on his way, his heart fails him." HE ASKS: What is "his heart?" AND HE REPLIES: IT is the Holy One, blessed be He, WHO CAUSES HIS SHECHINAH TO REST IN THE HEART OF THE RIGHTEOUS, THAT does not accompany him on his way. THUS "HIS HEART FAILS HIM" (THE INSPIRATION OF THE SHECHINAH) and His aid along the way is lacking. This is all because this man, who does not believe in his Master, WHO IS CALLED "A FOOL," BECAUSE ONE DOES NOT SIN UNLESS THE SPIRIT OF FOOLISHNESS ATTACHES ITSELF TO HIM, does not seek help from his Master before he starts his journey.
441. And even when he is on his way, he is not occupied with the study of Torah, and thus "his heart fails him." Because he does not follow his Master, his Master is not on his way. THE VERSE CONTINUES, "And he proclaims to all that he is foolish" (Kohelet 10:3), meaning that even when he hears a word of true faith in his Master, he says that it is foolish to pay attention to it.