327. "And when Abraham was ninety nine years old..." (Beresheet 17:1). In discussing this verse, Rabbi Aba said, "For who is El, save Hashem? And who is a rock, save our Elohim?" (II Shmuel 22:32). King David said this verse, "For who is El, save Hashem?" meaning who is the governor or ruler over things, "save Hashem." EVERYONE DOES what the Holy One, blessed be He commands, as no one can stand on his own or does anything without Hashem. "And who is a rock" - who is strong enough to perform a mighty deed with his own strength -"save our Elohim?" Therefore, everyone is in the hands of the Holy One, blessed be He, and none can do anything without His permission.
328. According to another explanation of "For who is El, save Hashem?" everything lies in the hands of the Holy One, blessed be He, and not in what is seen in the stars and their signs. The stars may show a particular thing, but the Holy One, blessed be He, changes it to something else. The verse "And who is a rock (Heb. tzur), save our Elohim?" has been explained. There is no "portrayer" (Heb. tzayar) like the Holy One, blessed be He, who portrays an image within an image, REFERRING TO A FETUS WITHIN HIS MOTHER'S WOMB, completes that image in all its perfection, and inserts to it a heavenly soul that is similar to the Holy One, blessed be He. This is why there is no "portrayer' like the Holy One, blessed be He.
329. Come and behold, when a man and a woman desire each other and join as one, the sperm of man produces a child in whom both of their images are combined. For the Holy One, blessed be He created the child in an image that included both. This is why a person should sanctify himself, at that time, so that this image may be as perfect as should be!'
330. Rabbi Chiya said, Come and behold, How great are the deeds that the Holy One, blessed be He, performs. Because He creates and portrays human beings in a similar way to THE ART AND PAINTING OF the world. THIS MEANS THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING REFLECTS THE ENTIRE WORLD WITHIN HIMSELF AND THUS IS CALLED A MICROCOSM. Every day, the Holy One, blessed be He, creates a world by mating couples, according to their worth. THROUGH THEM, HE CREATES WORLDS. And He forms the images of all offspring, before they come to the world.
331. Come and behold. Rabbi Shimon said that it is written, "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Beresheet 5:1). AND HE INQUIRES, "Did he actually have a book?" AND HE REPLIES, This has been explained. The Holy One, blessed be He, showed Adam every generation and its leaders. But how did He show him ALL OF THEIR IMAGES? If you say that he saw through the Holy Spirit that they are destined to appear in the world, just like a person who sees through wisdom can tell the future of the world, it is not so! Rather, he saw them all with his eyes; he literally saw the image of their forms in the world with his eyes. AND HE ASKS, Why WAS HE ABLE TO SEE THEM ALL WITH HIS EYES? AND HE REPLIES, Because since the day the world was created, all the Souls that were to appear in future human beings stand before the Holy One, blessed be He, in the same image and form that they will have in the world.
332. In the same manner, after all these righteous people depart from this world, their souls rise, and the Holy One, blessed be He, creates for each of them another form in which to be clothed, just as they were clothed and covered while in this world. Therefore, all the souls stand before Him, and so Adam saw them with his eyes!
333. You might say that, after he had seen them, they ceased to exist and disappeared, but all that the Holy One, blessed be He, does, remains in existence. So they stand before Him until their time comes to go down to the world. And according to this, it is written, "But with him that stands here" (Devarim 29:14). And this has been explained - all the human beings, who were destined to appear in the world in the future, were standing there.
334. This should be examined, because it is written, "and also with him that is not here..." which leads us to conclude that it refers only to those who will be born from those standing there. Therefore, it does not say, "standing with us this day," WHICH WOULD HAVE MEANT THAT THEY WERE STANDING THERE WITH THEM. Instead, it is written, "with us this day," WHICH MEANS THAT THEY ARE NOT WITH THEM! AND HE EXPLAINS, "Assuredly, everyone was standing there, but because they were not seen by the eye, the verse reads "with us this day," WHICH MEANS even though they are unseen. BECAUSE OF THIS, HE COULD NOT SAY "STANDING HERE WITH US THIS DAY."
335. You might say, "What is the reason that they were not seen here - ON MOUNT SINAI - just as they were seen by Adam's own eye. DURING THE GIVING OF THE TORAH, would it have been more proper FOR ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS to be seen?" AND HE REPLIES, Here, when the Torah was given to Yisrael, they were looking at a different mirror, in which they saw the supernal grades eye to eye. And they were craving to look upon the glory of their Master. Therefore they saw the supernal glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself alone, and nothing else besides Him!
336. Accordingly, all human beings who shall appear in the future in the world stand before the Holy One, blessed be He, clothed in the actual images in which they shall eventually appear. Therefore, it is written, "Your eyes did see my unshaped flesh, for in Your book all things are written..." (Tehilim 139:16). What is the reason THAT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, SAW HIS UNSHAPED FLESH? "Because another supernal image THAT WAS STANDING BEFORE HIM - EVEN BEFORE THE WORLD WAS CREATED - was similar to this one. AND THIS IS WHY HE SAW IT. Thus, it is written, "and who is a rock (tzur), save our Elohim? IN OTHER WORDS, who is such a good "portrayer" (tzayar) that he is able to draw everything as does the Holy One, blessed be He!