10. Rabbi Yosi was going on his way when Rabbi Chiya met him. He said to him what the scholars established, about that which is written concerning Eli: "And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of the house of Eli shall not be purged with sacrifice or offering forever" (I Shmuel 3:14), meaning that it is not purged with sacrifice or offering, but atonement comes through the words of Torah. Why? It is because words of Torah are superior to all sacrifices. As has been accepted, it is written, "This is the Torah of the burnt offering, of the meal offering, and of the sin offering, and of the guilt offering" (Vayikra 7:37). THIS INDICATES THAT the Torah is equal to all sacrifices in the world. He replied: This is surely so. For even if a penalty of Heaven is decreed against he who toils in Torah, the penalty is canceled because the study of the Torah is better for him than all sacrifices and offerings.
11. Come and behold: man becomes pure solely through words of Torah, For this reason, words of Torah never receive defilement, since THE FUNCTION OF THE TORAH is to purify the unclean. There is healing in the Torah, as it is written: "It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones" (Mishlei 3:8). There is purity in the Torah, as it is written: "The fear to Hashem is clean, enduring forever" (Tehilim 19:10). What is meant by "enduring forever?" IT MEANS that it remains constantly in the state of purity, which is never removed from it.
12. He said to him: Behold, it says, "the fear of Hashem," not 'the Torah.' He replied: This is surely so, THAT IT REFERS TO THE TORAH, as Torah comes from the state of Gvurah, AND HENCE IS CALLED 'FEAR OF HASHEM.' He said to him: You learn THAT IDEA from there, from the verses, "The fear of Hashem is the beginning of wisdom" (Tehilim 111:10), SO WE SEE THAT WISDOM IS CALLED 'FEAR.' And it is written: "fear of Hashem is pure," SO WE SEE THE PURITY IS WITHIN WISDOM, NAMELY IN THE TORAH.
13. The Torah is called 'Holiness,' as it is written, "for I Hashem your Elohim am Holy" (Vayikra 19:2). And such is the Torah, which is the supernal Holy Name. Therefore, one who toils in it becomes pure, and afterwards he becomes holy, as it is written: "You shall be holy." It does not say, 'be holy,' but it is written, "You shall be;" assuredly you shall, MEANING THAT THIS IS A PROMISE THAT THROUGH TORAH, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY." He replied: This is CERTAINLY correct, as it is written, "and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a Holy Nation" (Shemot 19:6), followed by, "These are the words..."
14. We learned that the Holiness of the Torah is a sanctity that surpasses all types of holiness, and the sanctity of the hidden supernal Wisdom exceeds all others. He said: Torah does not exist without wisdom, and wisdom does not exist without Torah. All is on one level; all is one. There is Torah in supernal Wisdom, and it is there through it. And in it, roots are planted on all sides.
15. As they were going, they met a person riding on a horse at a place where the town trash and refuse is kept. AS HE DEPARTED THERE, he put out his hand to a branch of the tree, TO CLEAN HIS HANDS. EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO REASON TO FEAR THAT HE HAD TOUCHED THE FILTH AS HE RODE ON A HORSE - NONE THE LESS - HE WAS STRICT WITH HIMSELF ABOUT CLEANSING HIS HANDS SINCE HE FOUND HIMSELF IN A DIRTY ENVIRONMENT. Rabbi Yosi said: This is what is written, "you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy" (Vayikra 11:44). Man purifies himself below and he is purified on high. This is the essence of the verse, "You shall be holy: for I Hashem your Elohim am Holy."
16. Rabbi Aba taught that this portion OF KEDOSHIM comprises the entire Torah and is sealed with the ring of Truth. In this portion there are new supernal secrets of Torah, in the Ten Commandments, and decrees, penalties, and heavenly commandments. When the friends reached this chapter, they were overjoyed.
17. Rabbi Aba said: What is the reason that the portion about incest and the portion of Kedoshim are adjacent? AND HE ANSWERS: We learned that he who keeps away from incest is definitely produced in holiness, SINCE HIS PARENTS SANCTIFIED THEMSELVES AT THE TIME OF INTERCOURSE. And this is most certainly so if he also sanctifies himself with the sanctity of his Master, THROUGH WORK ON HIMSELF. This was commented upon by the friends.
18. When is the time for all men to consecrate in marital duties? Come and behold: he who wishes to consecrate himself with the grace of His master should mate only from midnight on or at midnight, as at that hour, the Holy One, blessed be He, ZEIR ANPIN, is in the Garden of Eden, DENOTING MALCHUT, and the supernal sanctity is awakened. That is the moment to be consecrated. This is fine for all other people. Torah scholars familiar with the ways of Torah know that midnight is the hour to rise and toil in the Torah, join with the Congregation of Yisrael, DENOTING MALCHUT, and praise the Holy Name, DENOTING MALCHUT and the Holy King, DENOTING ZEIR ANPIN.
19. Shabbat eve, when there is universal goodwill, is the moment for mating FOR TORAH SCHOLARS, in order to find the grace of the Holy One, blessed be He, and the Congregation of Yisrael, DENOTING BOTH ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, as we learned from the verse, "You are the children of Hashem your Elohim" (Devarim 14:1). They are called 'holy,' as it is written, "You shall be holy: for I Hashem your Elohim am Holy," and it is written, "And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season" (Tehilim 1:3).