1. We were taught that Rabbi Shimon said to the friends: How long will we remain upheld by one pillar, MEANING IN THE SENSE OF THE FORMLESS WORLD (HEB. TOHU), IN WHICH THE SEVEN LOWER SFIROT WERE IN A SINGLE STACK, THE ONE ABOVE THE OTHER. RABBI SHIMON WISHED TO REVEAL TO THEM THE MEANING OF THE GRADES IN THE WORLD OF CORRECTION (FORMATION), WHICH CONSIST OF THREE PILLARS, THE HIDDEN MEANING OF THE THREE COLUMNS - RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTRAL. It is written: "It is time to act for Hashem: they have made void your Torah" (Tehilim 119:126). The days are few and the sin-master, MEANING THE PROSECUTOR, applies pressure. Every day the proclamation resounds FOR REPENTANCE and the reapers of the field are few, MEANING THOSE WHO DESERVED THE CROP OF THE SUPERNAL FIELD, MALCHUT, WHICH ARE THE UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE SECRETS OF TORAH. They, EVEN THOSE WHO UNDERSTOOD, are LOCATED at the end of the vineyard, WHICH IS MALCHUT. Even they do not pay attention and do not know where they are going.
2. Gather, friends, to the chamber, dressed in shields with swords and lances in your hands, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE UNIFICATIONS TO DESTROY THE KLIPOT. Hurry with your Corrections (formations), MEANING HURRY TO RESTORE THE THREE COLUMNS: CHOCHMAH, BINAH, DA'AT, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD with counsel, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge, with appearance, with hands, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET and with legs, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD. Appoint as King over you he who has the authority of life and death to decree truthful words, words to which the supernal holy beings will listen, and will be glad to hear and to know them.
3. Rabbi Shimon sat down and wept. He said: Woe if I do reveal and woe if I do not reveal. IF HE DOES NOT REVEAL, THE NEW UNDERSTANDINGS IN THE TORAH WILL GET LOST, AND IF HE DOES REVEAL, PERHAPS SOMEONE WHO IS NOT WORTHY OF THE HIDDEN MEANINGS OF THE TORAH MIGHT HEAR. The friends that were there kept silent. Finally, Rabbi Aba stood up and said to him: If my lord is graceful enough to reveal, behold it says, "The secret of Hashem is with them that fear him" (Tehilim 25:14). These friends fear the Holy One, blessed be He. They have already gained entry to the chamber of residence. WE HAVE LEARNED THAT some of them entered THIS GREAT CHAMBER and some of them exited, BUT NOT ALL SINCE THREE FRIENDS PASSED AWAY.
4. We have learned that the friends were counted who were present before Rabbi Shimon. The following were present: Rabbi Elazar, his son, Rabbi Aba, Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Yosi ben Ya'akov, Rabbi Yitzchak, Rabbi Chizkiyah ben Rav, Rabbi Chiya, Rabbi Yosi and Rabbi Yesa. They stretched their hands to Rabbi Shimon with the fingers straightened upward. They entered the field among the trees and sat down. Rabbi Shimon stood up and prayed his prayer, sat down among them and said: Let everyone place his hands in his bosom. Each one placed his hands IN HIS OWN BOSOM AND RABBI SHIMON accepted them. He opened the discussion saying, "Cursed be the man that makes any carved or molten idol, an abomination of Hashem, the work of the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret. And all the people" - ALL THE FRIENDS - "shall answer and say, 'Amen' " (Devarim 27:15).
5. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion with the verse: "It is time to act for Hashem: THEY HAVE MADE VOID YOUR TORAH" (TEHILIM 119:126), WHICH MEANS why is this a time to act for Hashem? Because "they have made void your Torah." What does "they have made void your Torah" mean? MEANING: They have made void the Torah above, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF ZEIR ANPIN, because she becomes void if she is not observed with her establishments, AS THE FOLLOWING WILL EXPLAIN. THIS VERSE was said to Atik Yomin (the Ancient of Days), WHICH IS THE BEGINNING OF THE ROOT OF ALL CORRECTIONS (FORMATIONS), AS IN THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION. It says, "Happy are you, Yisrael: who is like you" (Devarim 33:29), BECAUSE THEY ADHERE TO THE CENTRAL COLUMN and "Who is like you, Hashem, among the Elim" (Shemot 15:11). THIS APPLIES TO ZEIR ANPIN, WHO IS THE CENTRAL COLUMN.
6. He called on his son Rabbi Elazar and made him sit in front of him. Rabbi Aba was on the other side and said: We are all inclusive, SINCE THE SOUL OF RABBI ELAZAR WAS OF CHOCHMAH AND THAT OF RABBI ABA WAS BINAH, AND RABBI SHIMON HIMSELF WAS DA'AT THAT UNIFIES CHOCHMAH AND BINAH TO EACH OTHER. THAT IS WHY HE SAID THAT THEY WERE ALL INCLUSIVE, SINCE CHOCHMAH, BINAH AND DA'AT INCLUDE ALL THE GRADES. Until now the pillars were constructed, MEANING THAT TO THIS POINT THEY WERE INVOLVED IN CORRECTING THE THREE COLUMNS, ALSO CALLED THREE PILLARS. They were silent. They heard a sound and their knees were knocking together BECAUSE OF FEAR. What was the sound? That was the sound of the friends above who were gathering, MEANING THE CHARIOTS OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
7. Rabbi Shimon rejoiced and said, "Hashem, I have heard the report of you, and I was afraid" (Chavakuk 3:2). It was true there that he feared SINCE HIS ROOT WAS FROM THE LEFT COLUMN, BUT as for us WHO ARE UNITED WITH THE CENTRAL COLUMN, it comes from love, MEANING CHASSADIM, THAT ARE THE ASPECT OF LOVE, as it is written: "And you shall love [CG1]Hashem your Elohim" (Devarim 6:5), and: "Because Hashem loved you" (Devarim 7:8) and also: "I have loved you..." (Malachi 1:2).
8. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, "A talebearer (lit. 'goer') reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter" (Mishlei 11:13). This verse is difficult, but it should have said 'tale-man.' What is a TALE goer? HE REPLIES: It refers to someone who is not settled in mind and not trustworthy. Whatever he has heard goes within him like a board in the water THAT DOES NOT SINK UNTIL it is expelled outside, MEANING TO SAY HE HAS NO REST UNTIL HE REVEALS WHATEVER HE HEARD TO SOMEONE ELSE. What is the reason? It is because his spirit is not stable, SETTLED. Of him who has a stable spirit, it says "But he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter." A faithful spirit MEANS a stable spirit. It all depends on the spirit. It is also written: "Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin" (Kohelet 5:5).
9. The world is preserved only through secrecy and if, in worldly things, secrecy is a prerequisite, it is so much more certain that the mysteries of mysteries of Atik Yomin are not even passed on to the angels above. Rabbi Shimon said: To the heavens, I don't say to listen. To the earth I don't say to hear, since we maintain the worlds. THAT IS TO SAY, MOSES AND ISAIAH MADE THE HEAVENS AND EARTH WITNESSES TO PUNISH THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL IF THEY DO NOT MAINTAIN THE WORLDS, THAT THE HEAVENS WILL NOT GIVE ITS RAIN NOR THE EARTH ITS CROPS. BUT RABBI SHIMON WAS SPEAKING TO THE RIGHTEOUS, WHO MAINTAIN THE WORLD AND HAVE NO NEED FOR WITNESSES. We have learned of the mysteries of mysteries. When Rabbi Shimon began with the secrets of secrets, the place shook and the friends trembled.