42. Rabbi Yehuda was walking along the way with Rabbi Aba. He said to him: I wish to ask you one thing. Since the Holy One, blessed be He, was aware that Adam was going to commit sin in His presence and that He would sentence him to death, why did He create him? Didn't the Torah exist 2,000 years prior to the creation of the world, MEANING BEFORE THE SIN OF ADAM? And in the Torah it is written: "When a man dies in a tent" (Bemidbar 19:14), "if a man die," "and...died" and "such and such lived and died." What did the Holy One, blessed be He, want from man in this world? If man studies Torah day and night he will die, and if he does not study Torah he will die. The same course applies to all, except that THE SINNER is removed from the World to Come. HOWEVER, IN THIS WORLD ALL ARE EQUAL, as it is written: "As is the good, so is the sinner" (Kohelet 9:2).
43. He said to him: Why do you need to toil in the ways of your Master and the edicts of your Master? Ask about that which you have permission to know and gaze at, and about that which you have no permission to know, it is written: "Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin" (Kohelet 5:5), since we have no right to inquire about the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His mysteries, the utmost high secrets that He covered and hid. He said to him: If so, the entire Torah is concealed and hidden, since it is the most Holy Name and whoever studies the Torah, it is as if he deals in His Holy Name. If so, we are not permitted to inquire and gaze IN THE TORAH.
44. He said to him: The entire Torah is both concealed and revealed and the Holy Name is both concealed and revealed, as it is written: "The secret things belong to Hashem our Elohim: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children" (Devarim 29:28). "But those things which are revealed belong to us," meaning that we have permission to inquire and observe and gaze at them to know them. However, "the secret things belong to Hashem our Elohim:'' They are His and to Him they are proper, since who could know and comprehend His concealed mind, let alone ask about it.
45. Come and see, people are not permitted to talk about concealed matters and explain them, besides the Holy Luminary, Rabbi Shimon, since the Holy One, blessed be He, acceded to him. Since his generation is distinguished above and below, the matters are therefore said through him openly. There will be no other generation like the generation that he resides in, until the coming of King Messiah.