298. Rabbi Elazar said, When Moses entered into the cloud, it is written, "And Moses went into the midst of the cloud" (Shemot 24:18). As one who goes in the place of the spirit, a great angel met him. We learned that his name is Kemuel, and he is assigned over 12,000 appointed messengers. He wanted to join with Moses. Moses opened his mouth with the twelve engraved letters of the Holy Name that the Holy One, blessed be He, taught him at the bush, and he distanced himself twelve parasangs from Moses, who was standing in the cloud, with his eyes glowing like coals of fire.
299. Then a certain angel who was greater and more honored than the first met him. We learned that Hadarniel is his name and he is six hundred and one thousand parasangs above the other angels, and his voice carries through two hundred thousand firmaments that revolve in a white fire. As soon as Moses saw him, he was unable to speak. He wanted to drop himself down from the midst of the cloud.
300. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'Moses, are you really the one who spoke so much with Me at the bush, who wanted to know the secret of the Holy Name, and had no fear. Yet now you are afraid of one of my attendants!' As soon as Moses heard the voice of the Holy One, blessed be He, he was strengthened and opened his mouth with the 72 letters of the Supernal Holy Name. As soon as Hadarniel heard the letters of the Holy Name from the mouth of Moses, he shuddered. He approached him and said to him, Blessed is your portion Moses, for it has been revealed to you that which has not been revealed to the highest angels.
301. And he went with him until he reached the strong fire of an angel whose name is Sandalphon. We have learned that Sandalphon is 500 years higher than his other associates. He stands behind the curtain of his Master and he braids Him crowns from the requests of the prayers of Yisrael. And when this crown reaches the head of the Holy King, He receives all Yisrael's prayers. All the hosts and multitudes shudder and groan, and say, Blessed is the glory of Hashem from the dwelling place of His Shechinah.
302. Hadarniel said to him, Moses, I cannot go with you. I fear that the strong fire of Sandalphon will burn me. At that moment, Moses shuddered until the Holy One, blessed be He, grasped Moses, sat him before Him and taught him Torah. And He covered Moses with that Light and the radiant shine of that pleasantness, and the face of Moses illuminated throughout the firmaments. All the hosts of heaven were trembling before him at that moment that he descended with the Torah.
303. As soon as Yisrael sinned below, the Holy One, blessed be He, took a thousand parts of that radiant shine from Moses. At that moment, the angels of above and all the multitudes wanted to burn Moses; NAMELY, when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, "Go, get you down; for your people...have become corrupt" (Shemot 32:7). Moses shuddered and could not speak until he increased and intensified supplications and prayers before the Holy One, blessed be He.
304. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'Moses, grasp My throne.' Until the Holy One, blessed be He, castigated all the multitudes, all these hosts AND THEN Moses held the two stone tablets and brought them down. That is the meaning of what is written, "A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the stronghold in which it trusts" (Mishlei 21:22). From that radiant shine that remained in him, the face of Moses sparkled. And if in this remnant that remained with him they could not gaze into his face, then into what had left and gone from him most surely WOULD THEY NOT BE ABLE TO GAZE.
305. Rabbi Chiya said, "Your right hand, Hashem, is glorious in power" (Shemot 15:6), refers to the Torah, THAT GLORIFIES THE RIGHT, and therefore, "Your right hand, Hashem, has dashed the enemy in pieces." For there is nothing in the world that can break the power of the heathen peoples like Yisrael when they are occupied with Torah. As long as they are occupied with Torah, the right is strengthened, and the power and strength of the heathen are broken. Therefore, the Torah is called 'strength,' as it is written, "Hashem gives strength to His people" (Tehilim 29:11).
306. When Yisrael are not occupied with Torah, the left is strengthened and the power of the heathen nations, WHO NURTURE FROM THE LEFT, is strengthened. They rule over Yisrael and pass decrees which Yisrael cannot tolerate. The children of Yisrael were exiled and dispersed among the nations for this reason.
307. This is the meaning of the verse, "Why does the land perish...And Hashem says, 'Because they have forsaken My Torah'" (Yirmeyah 9:11-12). As long as the children of Yisrael are occupied with Torah, the strength of might of all the heathens is broken. This is what is meant by, "Your right hand, Hashem, has dashed the enemy in pieces." Rabbi Elazar said, It is certainly so, AS WE LEARNED that as long as the voice of Yisrael is heard in the synagogues and study halls, "The voice is the voice of Jacob" (Beresheet 27:22). But if not, then "the hands are the hands of Esau," as we have already explained.