37. Midrash Hane'elam (Homiletical interpretations on the obscure). "And...was" (Beresheet 23:1). Our sages began with the verse, "Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages" (Shir Hashirim 7:13). The sages have taught that a person who is traveling should recite three prayers, the obligatory daily prayer; the prayer for protection on the way; and a prayer to return home in peace. THE RECITATION OF THESE PRAYERS does not require three BENEDICTIONS, for it can be done in one BLESSING, as we have learned that everything a man asks can be included within the blessing, "Blessed are you, O Eternal, who hears our prayers."
38. Rabbi Yehuda said that all of man's deeds, both good and evil, are written in a book IN THE SUPERNAL WORLD, and that each man will be judged according to them. For we have learned from Rav Yehuda who quoted Rav that the verse suffices which reads, "Your eyes did see my unformformed flesh" (Tehilim 139:16). It means that the formformless flesh REFERS TO THE BODY, which does not care about the World to Come. "Your eyes did see" everything it did, since You have looked carefully at it. "For in Your book all things are written" (Ibid.) to be judged in the World to Come. Therefore, it behooves man to hasten to pray before he acts, which may bring him good.
39. Rabbi Yitzchak said that a man does not transgress; only he who is a formformless matter and is not a man transgresses. This is a man who cares not for THE NEEDS OF the holy soul. He behaves like a beast, which does not care or know. Rabbi Bo asks RABBI YITZCHAK, Was David called a formformless matter, NAMELY HE WHO CARES NOT FOR THE SOUL, BECAUSE it was he who wrote the verse? Rabbi Yitzchak replied that Adam said, "Your eyes did see my unformformed flesh," FOR "UNFORMFORMED FLESH" MEANS MATTER WHOSE FORM IS NOT YET FINISHED. He said that before You gave me my soul, WHEN I WAS STILL UNFORMFORMED FLESH, Your eyes sought to create men in my image. "For in Your book all things are written," FOR IT WILL BE WRITTEN DOWN who they are IN NAME. "The days also in which they are to be fashioned" (Tehilim 139:16) means that they will be created in his image. The phrase, "And not one of them" means that none survived.
40. Rabbi Bo ASKS, Why WAS NO ONE LEFT OF THOSE WHO BORE A RESEMBLANCE TO THE IMAGE OF ADAM? He answers, Come and behold, Those who resembled Adam even slightly, THAT IS, VAGUELY, did not die a natural death. All were struck FOR RESEMBLING ADAM. SAMSON'S FORCE FAILED HIM, AS DID SAUL'S NECK, AND SO ON. Come and behold, Rabbi Yehuda said that the image of Adam and his beauty were as the splendor of the supreme firmament above all the firmaments, as the light that the Holy One, blessed be He, saved for the righteous in the World to Come. Therefore, all who had something of Adam's image were stricken by it and died, AS WILL BE EXPLAINED.
41. These are the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He. If He gives a man wealth, it is for the purpose of sustaining the world and performing His commandments. If man does not do so, but instead takes pride in his wealth, he will be destroyed by it, as it is written, "Riches kept for their owner to his hurt" (Kohelet 5:12). If the Holy One, blessed be He, gives him children, He gives them so they can learn the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, and to keep His commandments. It is written of Abraham, "For I have known him, that he shall command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Hashem, to do justice and judgement" (Beresheet 18:19). If he does not do so, but instead takes pride in them, he is hurt by them, as it is written, "No great grandchild has he and no grandchild among his people" (Iyov 18:19). Similarly, when the Holy One, blessed be He, gives the good and supernal beauty of Adam, He gives it to them so they will keep His commandments and abide by His wishes. If they instead take pride in it, they will be hurt by the beauty with which they were blessed.
42. Rabbi Yehuda said that when the Holy One, blessed be He, first created Adam-while he still was unformformed flesh and had no soul He said to the angel who was assigned over the images of men, "Look, and form in this form six men, SAMSON, SAUL, ASAEL, JOSIAH, ZEDEKIAH, AND ABSHALOM. This is the meaning of the verse, "And begot a son in his own likeness, after his image and called his name Seth" (Beresheet 5:3). The Aramaic word Seth means six AND REFERS TO THE SIX PEOPLE MENTIONED.
43. Rabbi Yitzchak said that the Holy One, blessed be He, created these six men from the same dust that was used to create Adam. The words, "And called his name Seth" is derived from the Aramaic word "sheeta," which translates as six. IT MEANS THAT HE CREATED SIX MEN. This is the meaning of, "And begot...in his own likeness, after his image" (Ibid.)-from the same dough that his unformformed flesh was created. Therefore, it is written, "Your eyes did see my unformformed flesh," WHICH MEANS that You looked well to create in his image. "For in Your book all are written" means that those who did not keep what the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them were driven from the world.
44. In relation to this, Rabbi Yehuda quoted Rav as saying that the night is divided into three shifts OF FOUR HOURS EACH. During each shift, the Holy One, blessed be He, has a special matter of interest with man. It is when the soul leaves him and the unformformed flesh, NAMELY THE BODY, remains asleep in his bed. The soul ascends each night before the Holy One, blessed be He, AND HE DEALS WITH IT EVERY SHIFT. Rabbi Yitzchak said those above are happy with it if it has merit; if not, it is pushed out.