510. Rabbi Elazar taught, it is written, "And you shall be men of holiness to Me." Why write "men" and then "holiness?" IT WOULD SUFFICE TO SAY 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY TO ME? HE ANSWERS, there is good reason to write "men of holiness," for we learned, Yisrael had won freedom only as a result of Jubilee DENOTING BINAH; after gaining freedom, Jubilee accepted them under its wings and they are thus called its people, its children, and about Jubilee, it is written, "For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy (lit. 'holiness') to you" (Vayikra 25:12). Hence it says "And you shall be men of holiness to Me," its men in deed.
511. And the Holy One, blessed be He, said this, "AND YOU SHALL MEN OF HOLINESS TO ME." And so Yisrael merited to be called brothers of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "For my brethren and companions' sakes" (Tehilim 122:8), AS THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL ARE SONS TO JUBILEE, BEING BINAH, AND ZEIR ANPIN IS THE SON OF BINAH, THE RESULT BEING THAT THEY ARE ALSO BROTHERS TO ZEIR ANPIN. Then they get called 'holiness' literally, as it says, "The children of Yisrael are holiness to Hashem, the first fruits of His increase." Here it is written holiness, not 'men of holiness,' and therefore "all that devour him shall be held guilty," and, "No stranger shall eat of the holiness" "And if a man eat of the holiness unwittingly..."
512. So we learned, the children of Yisrael are called 'holiness,' and because they are 'holiness,' no one must call his neighbor a shameful name, and not make up a name for him, as there is a great penalty, all the more so in other matters. We learned, "Keep your tongue from evil" (Tehilim 34:14). What is meant by evil? As a result of bad talk, illnesses come to the world.
513. Rabbi Yosi said, one who calls another with a name that is not proper and shames him, he is brought TO JUDGMENT for something he did not do, as Rabbi Chiya said in the name of Rabbi Chizkiyah: One who calls his neighbor a villain, is lowered to Gehenom, and he is slapped on his cheek, the exception being those acting insolently to the Torah, whom one may call villains.
514. A man cursed his neighbor, and Rabbi Yesa passed by and said to him, "you acted like a villain." The person came before Rabbi Yehuda with a complaint. He said to him, I did not say to him, that he is a villain, but acts like a villain exhibiting cruel behavior, but I did not call him a villain. Rabbi Judah came and asked about this case of Rabbi Elazar. He told him, Surely he is not liable, and the proof, there is a verse, "Hashem was like an enemy" (Eichah 2:5), but not an actual enemy. Were it now so, nothing would have remained of the race of Yisrael in the world. Similarly, "like a widow" (Eichah 1:1), not actual widow, but like a widow whose husband went overseas and she awaits him, AND BEING ALONE WITHOUT A HUSBAND SHE IS LIKENED TO A WIDOW.
515. Rabbi Chiya said, Is the proof from here? IS IT NOT from there which is the principal, MEANING THE PROHIBITION OF IMAGE, as it is written, "And upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man" (Yechezkel 1:26), again, it writes "like the appearance of man," not "the appearance of man," EVIDENTLY 'LIKE THE APPEARANCE' IS NOT SIMILAR TO 'THE APPEARANCE.' Rabbi Yitzchak said, It is written, "Like the apple among the trees of the wood" (Shir Hashirim 2:3), meaning, "like the apple," but not 'the apple,' to be understood, like the apple is recognizable by its colors, and unified through its colors, AS THE UNITY OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, IS THE SECRET OF THE THREE COLUMNS BEING THE SECRET OF WHITE, RED, AND GREEN AS EXISTING WITH THE APPLE, TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS CHESED, JUDGMENT, MERCY. Rabbi Yehuda said, if I came only to hear this, it was worth it.
516. We learned, it is written, "And he that stumbles among them at that day shall be like David" (Zecharyah 12:8), MEANING like David but not David, for he says, "Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of Hashem" (I Divrei Hayamim 22:14), and it is written, "For I am poor and needy" (Tehilim 86:1). And he was at the time a king over kings, and yet referred to himself so. Rabbi Aba said, fortunate are the children of Yisrael, that the Holy One, blessed be He, did not call them "like holiness" but actually "holiness," as it is written, "Yisrael is holiness to Hashem," the end of the verse reads, "all that devour him shall be held guilty," LIKE A STRANGER EATING OF THE HOLINESS.