50. Rabbi Yosi said: There is no father more merciful to his children than the Holy One, Blessed Be He. For it is written: "there has not failed one word of all His good promise..." (I Melachim 8:56). Come and behold His mercy. If it had said, 'there has not failed one word of all His promise,' and no more, THIS WOULD HAVE INCLUDED HIS HARSH WORDS ALSO. Then it would be better for the world not to have been created, BECAUSE IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO BEAR IT. But since it said, "of all His good promise," and left His harshness, it implies that THAT HE LEFT OFF THE HARSH WORDS HE SPOKE OF YISRAEL, AND THEY DID NOT COME TRUE. FROM HERE WE SEE HIS MERCY, because He does not want to do an evil thing.
51. And even though He threatened and raised the lash, his Mother came and held His right arm, and the lash remained in its place, and did not descend AND JUDGMENT was not executed, because they were really of one mind, the one who threatened and the one who held His arm!
52. And you may ask whence we derive this. This is well known, as it is written, "Go, get you down; for your people...have become corrupt" (Shemot 32:7). THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, started to raise the lash, but Moses did not know the way of the Mother, NAMELY TO HOLD HIS RIGHT HAND AND DETAIN HIM, and remained silent. When the Holy One, blessed be He, saw this, He hinted to him and pressed him and said, "now therefore let Me alone" (Ibid. 10). Immediately, Moses realized and grasped the arm of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written: "Remember Abraham" (Ibid. 3). For this is the right arm, WHICH IS CHESED. Therefore, He did not bring down the lash.
53. You may wonder where was the Mother, WHO IS MALCHUT, who is accustomed to hold the King's lash, AS MENTIONED, and who left the matter to Moses? I have asked and I still do not know the explanation of the matter, until we are before the holy luminary, MEANING RABBI SHIMON. When they came before Rabbi Shimon, he saw a sign on their faces. HE RECOGNIZED WHAT THEY HAD COME TO INQUIRE OF HIM. He said: Come, holy children, come, King's beloved, come my beloved, come, those that are beloved by each other.
54. For Rabbi Aba said: All the friends who do not love each other die before their time. All the friends during the days of Rabbi Shimon loved each other, soul and spirit. Therefore, in the generation of Rabbi Shimon THE SECRETS OF THE TORAH WERE unveiled, for Rabbi Shimon used to say: All the friends that do not love each other cause THEMSELVES to deviate from the straight path. Also, they blemish it, THE TORAH, because the Torah has in it love, friendship and truth. Abraham loved Isaac and Isaac loved Abraham, so they embraced each other. Both were attached to Jacob with love and friendship, and gave their spirit to each other. The friends must be like them, and not cause a blemish in them. FOR IF THEY LACK LOVE, THEY CAUSE A BLEMISH IN THEIR COUNTERPART ABOVE, IN ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB, WHICH ARE THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH, AND TIFERET.
55. As soon as RABBI SHIMON saw the sign on their faces, HE RECOGNIZED WHAT THEY CAME TO ASK HIM. He said to them: WELCOME, MY BELOVED. They said to him: Assuredly the Spirit of Prophecy dwells upon the holy luminary, and this is what we need to know, NAMELY, THE QUESTION MENTIONED ABOVE. Rabbi Shimon wept and said: This is one of the subjects I was told in secret by the dean of the Yeshivah in the Garden of Eden. It was not told me openly, this subject is a secret, yet I will tell it to you, my beloved sons, children beloved of my soul. What shall I do? They told it to me secretly, but I will tell it to you openly. And in the future, when we shall see THE SHECHINAH face to face, all the faces will be supported, MEANING THAT THEY WILL ILLUMINATE by this SECRET.
56. My children, the sins that the outside people - NAMELY, THE MIXED MULTITUDE - performed, and which the holy people joined in, was a sin against the Mother, WHICH IS MALCHUT, as is written, "Up, make us Elohim" (Shemot 32:1). It is Elohim for sure, MEANING THAT HE SHOULD MAKE THEM A STRANGE ELOHIM, INSTEAD OF MALCHUT, THAT IS CALLED 'ELOHIM', INSTEAD OF the Glory of Yisrael, NAMELY MALCHUT, that hovered over them like a mother over her children. And this is the secret of, "Thus they exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox" (Tehilim 106:20). This is the Glory of Yisrael, MEANING, their Mother, WHICH IS MALCHUT. This is the meaning of: "Honor is departed" (I Shmuel 4:21), that they caused the Shechinah to be exiled with them. Therefore, "they exchanged their glory"; for what "...for the likeness of an ox."
57. Here is the secret of the matter OF "THE LIKENESS OF AN OX." Come and behold: below, in the dregs of the wine, in the evil sediment, a demon emerged, an Accuser, the primordial harmful spirit, in the secret of the likeness of man, and approached Holiness. When he departed from there, FROM HOLINESS, and wanted to descend, he had to be clothed in a garment in order to harm the world. Thus, he and his chariots descended and the first garment he took was the likeness of an ox, NAMELY the image of an ox. The first of the four primary causes of injury is the ox, and THE OTHER three primary causes of injury beside the ox pertain to it, TO THE OX. Therefore, it is written, "Thus they exchanged their glory with the likeness of an ox THAT EATS GRASS."
58. What is the meaning of, "that eats grass" IN THE WORDS, "FOR THE LIKENESS OF AN OX THAT EATS GRASS?" HE ANSWERS: We have already expounded upon it, but the main point is that it does not have any of the essence of bread and seven species of grain BUT EATS ONLY GRASS. And because of this, SINCE THEY BLEMISHED THE MOTHER, WHICH IS MALCHUT, AS MENTIONED, Mother was not present, and it would not be proper for Her to be there, because they blemished Her. And since the Father, WHO IS ZEIR ANPIN, knew the Mercy of the Mother and Her ways, He said to Moses: My beloved son, the remedy for this, so THAT THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL SHALL NOT BE PUNISHED, is always in twosomes. ONE RAISES THE LASH AND THE OTHER HOLDS IT BACK AND RESTRAINS, AS MENTIONED. AND SINCE THE MOTHER IS NOT PRESENT, IT IS INCUMBENT UPON YOU. And this is what they told me secretly, for it is not proper to reveal it so that the son may not know of it, but always see the lash and fear it. Yet both are of this mind, the same mind, MEANING THAT THE ONE WHO RAISES THE LASH AND THE ONE WHO RESTRAINS IT ARE OF THE SAME MIND.