Bo: Chapter 13
"Sanctify to Me all the firstborn"

We are told that most people are under the domination of both the Evil Inclination and the Good Inclination. The average person should wish for two things, to be redeemed from the domination of the Evil Inclination, and to ascend to the level of Adam. Rabbi Shimon tells us how Gabriel, the Good Inclination, wrestles with man before he is born and teaches him seventy languages, and how the Evil Inclination causes him to forget the seventy languages.

A man's merits and sins are always wrestling to wage war within him. Four angels descend with a man. If he has ancestral merit then they are Michael, Gabriel, Nuriel and Raphael, and the Good Inclination stands above him; if he has no merit then they are the four angels of destruction - Sin, Destroyer, Anger and Fury - and the Evil Inclination stands above him to judge him in the World to Come. This is why both Gabriel and Samael judge the average person. Every person has the four elements, Fire, Air, Water and Earth, but according to which of these elements is first, a different angel comes first.

Next we learn of the four aspects, Lion, Ox, Eagle and Adam, of the right and left sides, and we are told about the characteristics of those men who are under each aspect and how they differ depending on whether they do or do not study Torah. We read that the Master Scholars of the Mishnah declared, "A person should always view himself as if the whole world depends on him, because he can tip the balance."

Rabbi Shimon closes by saying that every living creature is marked with the letters of the Holy Name, in order to recognize who created it.