51. "The festival of unleavened bread (Heb. matzot) shall you keep" (Shemot 34:18). Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion, saying: "Cease from man, though his breath be in his nostrils, for in what is he to be accounted of" (Yeshayah 2:22). They have established this passage, yet what is the meaning of "Cease from man"? Is THE PROPHET warning to avoid other people and that likewise, other PEOPLE should avoid him? It would then come to pass that people would never come near each other. HE ANSWERS: They have established this passage as referring to one who arrives early at the door of his friend to greet him, BEFORE HE HAS BLESSED THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. AND THEREFORE IT IS SAID, "CEASE..."
52. I have explained the passage: "CEASE..." together with another passage that says: "He that blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him" (Mishlei 27:14). Even though it is all well, MEANING EVEN THOUGH HE HAS ALREADY BLESSED THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AND IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO CAUTION ABOUT IT "CEASE...", what is "Cease from man, though his breath be in his nostrils"? Here, the Holy One, blessed be He, has commanded the man and cautioned him to guard himself from those people who have turned from a good way to an evil way, and defile themselves with the impurity of the Other Side.
53. When the Holy One, blessed be He, created man, He made him in the supernal image and blew into him a Holy Spirit combined of three, as we have established, so that he would contain Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah. And Neshamah is the highest of all of them, for it is a supernal force with which to know and to keep the commandments of the Holy One, blessed be He. If one brings the sacred Neshamah into another worship, he defiles it and leaves the service of his Master. For these three forces are all one, Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah, together in partnership. And they are one, as in the supernal secret THAT BINAH AND ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT ARE ONE, SO TO NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH ARE ONE, BECAUSE THEY STEM FROM THEM.
54. If we see a man that has all these levels, WHICH ARE NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH, and still not know clearly what he is, how can we determine whether to approach that man or avoid him? Here then, in his real anger, one could know and recognize him for what he is. If he guards the holy Neshamah in his anger, so as not to uproot it from its place and bring a foreign El to replace it, then he is a proper man. Such is a servant of his Master; such is a whole man.
55. If that man does not guard it but uproots this supernal Holiness BY BECOMING ANGRY, and causes the Other Side to dwell in its place, assuredly such a man has rebelled against his Master. It is forbidden to come near him or join him. Such a one "tears himself in his anger" (Iyov 18:4). He tears and uproots his soul because of his anger and causes a foreign El to dwell within him. In reference to him, it is written: "Cease from man, though his breath be in his nostrils" (Yeshayah 2:22), meaning that he tears his holy Neshamah and defiles it in his anger, MEANING BECAUSE HE BECAME ANGRY, exchanging his Neshamah in his anger. "For in what (Heb. bameh) is he to be accounted of" (Ibid.), means that man is considered A STAGE (HEB. BAMAH), ON WHICH idols ARE WORSHIPPED.
56. Whoever joins him and whoever speaks with him, is as though he actually joins with idolatry. What is the reason? Because actual idolatry dwells within him, MEANING A STRANGE EL. Moreover, he has uprooted the supernal Holiness from its place and caused idolatry to dwell instead, a strange El. As it is written of a strange El: "Turn not to idols" (Vayikra 19:4), it is similarly forbidden to look at the face OF THE ANGRY MAN.
57. You may ask: But what about the anger of sages? HE ANSWERS: The anger of sages is good from every aspect, for we have learned that the Torah is fire and the Torah causes him to seethe, as it is written: "'Is not My word like a fire,' says Hashem" (Yirmeyah 23:29). The anger of sages is in the words of Torah. The anger of sages is to give honor to the Torah, and it is all in the service of Hashem. Therefore, it says, "Hashem your Elohim is a consuming fire, a jealous El" (Devarim 4:24).
58. But if THE ANGER is for other matters, AND NOT FOR WORDS OF TORAH, then it is not the service of the Holy One, blessed be He. Of all the sins that a person commits, none are actual idol worship like one WHO IS ANGRY. It is forbidden to approach him. If you say that he only temporarily transgressed AND BECAME ANGRY but afterwards repented, it is not so! Since once he has uprooted the Holiness of his soul from himself and from its place and that strange El appropriated that place, he strengthens himself there and does not leave him. The only exception is when that person becomes entirely purified and has uprooted from himself THE STRANGE EL forever, and afterwards endeavors to become holy and to draw Holiness upon himself, THEN hopefully he will become holy. Rabbi Yosi said to him: He actually becomes holy.
59. He said to him: Come and behold. At the moment he uproots the Holiness of his soul and in its place dwells that strange El that is called 'impure', the person becomes defiled and he defiles whoever approaches him. That Holiness is uprooted from him, and when it has been uprooted once, in relation to what he did, it will never return to its place.
60. He said to him: Yet there are many defiled people who are purified. He said to him: Other impurities are different, for they cannot do more THAN DEFILE HIM ON THE OUTSIDE, but one WHO GETS ANGRY is different from them all, for his whole body becomes defiled inside and out, and he contaminates the soul and everything else. Other impurities in the world only defile the body on the outside. Therefore, it is written: "Cease from man, though his breath be in his nostrils (or: 'anger')"; MEANING that he exchanged the Holiness of his Master for his anger. Such an impurity defiles everything, "For in what (Heb. bameh) is he to be accounted of," he is certainly considered an altar (Heb. bamah) for idol worship.