131. Rabbi Yosi commenced: "You shall not eat anything with the blood..." (Vayikra 19:26). This verse has been explained by the friends in several places, and also all the verses that follow. Each one EXPLAINED THEM ACCORDING TO THE revealed Torah. However, this verse needs exposition. It is written: "You shall rise up before the elderly" (Ibid. 32). The words, "before a hoary head," refer generally to a Torah scroll for which you must rise. And so did Rav Hamnuna Saba (the elder). When he saw a Torah scroll, he would rise and say, "You shall rise up before a hoary head" (Vayikra 19:32). Similarly, man should rise fully before a Torah scholar because he has the supernal holy image, which indicates the supernal holy priest, THE SECRET OF SUPERNAL ABA, CALLED 'OLD MAN.' As the verse says, "and honor the face of the old man" (Ibid.), who is in the world, MEANING THE TORAH SCHOLAR WHO IS WITH YOU IN THE WORLD, WHICH ALLUDES TO THE SUPERNAL OLD MAN, SUPERNAL ABA. Rabbi Shimon said: From here is an allusion to the Written and Oral Torah. THIS MEANS THAT ONE NEEDS TO RISE BEFORE A TORAH SCROLL, CONSIDERED THE WRITTEN TORAH, AND RISE BEFORE A TORAH SCHOLAR, WHO IS CONSIDERED THE ORAL TORAH.
132. We further learned what this verse, "You shall rise up before a hoary head," teaches, as commented on by the friends. "You shall rise up before a hoary head." THE TORAH warns the person that before reaching old age, he should establish himself properly in the world, MEANING HE SHOULD REPENT because this will be better for him. But if HE REPENTS late in life, this is not such a praiseworthy act for him, since he is old and cannot do any more wrong. The praiseworthy one is good when he has his full strength. King Solomon exclaimed, "Even a child is known by his doings" (Mishlei 20:11). Similarly, it is written: "Remember now your creator in the days of your youth" (Kohelet 12:1). Rabbi Elazar said: Certainly, this way is ready before us, this being the way of the Holy One, blessed be He.