1. "And these are the generations of Isaac..." (Beresheet 25:19). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem? Who can declare all His praise?" (Tehilim 106:2). Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to create the world, He did so according to the Torah. And every act that the Holy One, blessed be He, used to create the world was done according to the Torah. This is the meaning of, "then I was by him, as a nursling, and I was daily his delight" (Mishlei 8:30). Do not pronounce it as "a nursling," (Heb. amon) but rather 'a craftsman' (Heb. oman), BECAUSE IT WAS A TOOL FOR HIS CRAFT.
2. When He wanted to create man, the Torah said to him, 'If man is created, he will sin, and you will punish him. Would not Your handwork then be in vain? After all, he will not be able to endure the punishment.' The Holy One, blessed be He, replied, 'I created repentance before I created the world. IF HE WILL SIN, HE WILL BE ABLE TO REPENT AND BE FORGIVEN.' When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world and created Adam, He said to it, 'World, world, you and your nature are based solely upon the Torah, and for that reason I created man in you, to be occupied with the study of the Torah. And if he does not STUDY THE TORAH, I will return you to chaos. Everything is for man.' This is the meaning of the verse, "I have made the earth, and created man upon it" (Yeshayah 45:12). The Torah proclaims to men to be occupied with and endeavor in the study of the Torah, but no one lends an ear.
3. Come and behold, whoever studies the Torah sustains the world and properly sustains every act in the world. There is no part within man that does not have a counterpart creature in the world. Just as the body of man is composed of levels of parts that act together to form a unified body, so is the world. All the creatures in the world are hierarchical parts that act on and react with each other, so they will actually be as one body. Everything, WHETHER IT BE MAN OR THE WORLD, resembles the Torah, because the Torah is made of different parts and sections that support each other. When they are all correct, they will become as one body. When David looked at this work, he said, "Hashem, how manifold are your works! In wisdom You have made them all, the earth is full of Your creatures" (Tehilim 104:24).
4. The Torah contains supernal, sealed mysteries, that man cannot grasp; it contains all supernal matters - those revealed and those not revealed. BECAUSE OF THEIR DEPTH, THEY ARE REVEALED TO THE SCHOLAR, BUT DISAPPEAR IMMEDIATELY ONLY TO BE REVEALED IN THE NEXT INSTANT AND DISAPPEAR AGAIN. AND SO IT CONTINUES FOR THOSE WHO STUDY THEM. The Torah contains all the matters above IN THE SUPERNAL WORLDS and below. Everything in this world and everything in the World to Come is in the Torah, but there is no one to observe and understand them. Thus, it is written, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem? Who can declare all His praise?" (Tehilim 106:2).
5. Come and behold, when Solomon unsuccessfully tried to understand the words and subtleties of the Torah, he commented, "I said, 'I will be wise;' but it was far from me" (Kohelet 7:23). David said, "Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:18). Come and behold, it is written of Solomon that he "spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his poems were 1,005" (I Melachim 5:12). This is because there were 5,000 interpretations of each proverb he told. If this is true of the words of Solomon, who was flesh and blood, how many proverbs, chants, praises, mysteries, and wise thoughts are contained in the words of the Torah, as spoken by the Holy One, blessed be He? Therefore, it is written, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem."
6. Come and behold, it is written, "Now these are the generations of Ishmael" (Beresheet 25:12), and they are twelve princes. Then it is written, "And these are the generations of Isaac" (Ibid. 19). Is it possible that because it is written that Ishmael sired twelve princes and Isaac sired two, he (Ishmael) is more RIGHTEOUS THAN ISAAC? It is therefore written, "Who can utter the mighty (Heb. gvurot) acts of Hashem?" This refers to Isaac - AS ISAAC IS GVURAH OF ZEIR ANPIN - for Isaac sired Jacob, who alone is more important than all of them, for he fathered the twelve tribes, and sustained the upper and the lower, while Isaac supported the higher in supernal holiness and Ishmael only below. Therefore the verse, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem?" REFERS TO ISAAC, AS EXPLAINED ABOVE. The phrase, "declare all His praises," refers to Jacob, BECAUSE JACOB, REPRESENTING EXISTENCE BOTH ABOVE AND BELOW, CONTAINS ALL HIS PRAISES. When the sun, ZEIR ANPIN, connects with the moon, NUKVA, many stars shine from them. THEY ARE THE TWELVE TRIBES OF YAH, LIKENED TO THE STARS IN JOSEPH'S DREAM.
7. "And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son." Rabbi Yosi asks, What has changed? It did not say, "Abraham's son" previously. For although it is written, "Elohim blessed his son Isaac," (Beresheet 25:11) Abraham is now dead; THAT IS, HE BLESSED AND RAISED THE LEVEL OF ISAAC, WHICH IS GVURAH, AFTER THE DEATH OF ABRAHAM. THUS, the image of Abraham was upon Isaac and stayed with him - WHICH MEANS THAT THE QUALITY OF ABRAHAM, WHICH IS CHESED, REMAINED WITHIN ISAAC - so that whoever saw Isaac said, "...This is surely Abraham," and pronounced that Abraham begat Isaac - WHO WAS INCLUDED IN AND CLOTHED WITH THE QUALITY OF ABRAHAM, WHICH IS CHESED. THEREFORE, THE SCRIPTURE HERE SPECIFICALLY READS, "ABRAHAM'S SON," AS WELL AS, "ABRAHAM BEGOT ISAAC."
8. Rabbi Yitzchak rose one night to study Torah, while Rabbi Yehuda, who was in the city of Caesarea, also rose at the same hour TO STUDY TORAH. Rabbi Yehuda said, I will walk to Rabbi Yitzchak and study Torah together with him. He went with his son, Hezekiah, who was then a boy. When he approached the door, he heard Rabbi Yitzchak say, "And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that Elohim blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by Be'er Lachai Ro'i" (Beresheet 25:11). HE THEN RAISES A DIFFICULT ISSUE: In this verse, the beginning does not fit the end and the end does not fit the beginning; IT BEGINS WITH THE DEATH OF ABRAHAM AND ENDS WITH THE BLESSING OF ISAAC, AND THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE EVENTS. HE THEN POSED ANOTHER DIFFICULT QUESTION, Why this change? Why should the Holy One, blessed be He, bless Isaac AND NOT ABRAHAM? HE ANSWERS, Since Abraham did not bless Isaac, HASHEM BLESSED HIM AFTER HE DIED. THIS IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE VERSE, "AND IT CAME TO PASS..." HE ASKS, Why did Abraham not bless him? AND HE REPLIED, So that Esau, HIS SON, would not be blessed with him - THAT IS, SO THAT ESAU WOULD NOT DRAW DOWN THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT AS IS HIS UNHOLY WONT. Therefore these blessings passed to the Holy One, blessed be He, AND THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, BLESSED ISAAC. Of the verse, "and Isaac dwelt at Be'er Lachai Ro'i," HE ASKS, What is the meaning of "Lachai Ro'I," AND ANSWERS that he was united with the Shechinah, as the Aramaic translation reads, "the well where the Angel of the Covenant was seen." THIS IS THE WELL, NAMELY, THE SHECHINAH, UPON WHICH THE ANGEL OF THE COVENANT, YESOD, WAS SEEN. Therefore He blessed him. BY THIS WE MAY UNDERSTAND THE CONNECTION OF THE THREE PARTS OF THIS VERSE, "AND IT CAME TO PASS AFTER THE DEATH OF ABRAHAM," WHO DID NOT BLESS ISAAC, "THAT ELOHIM BLESSED HIS SON ISAAC." WHY DID HE BLESS HIM? BECAUSE "ISAAC DWELT AT BE'ER LACHAI RO'I," FOR HE JOINED THE SHECHINAH.
9. In the meantime, Rabbi Yehuda knocked on the door, entered, and joined him. Rabbi Yitzchak said, Now the Shechinah is with us. Rabbi Yehuda said that this explanation concerning "Be'er Lachai Ro'i" is good, but there is more to be understood from the words. ONE SHOULD UNDERSTAND YOUR INTERPRETATION FROM THE WORDS THEMSELVES. He began with the verse, "a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon" (Shir Hashirim 4:15). This verse was already explained, "a fountain of gardens" is Abraham; "a well of living waters" is Isaac; and "streams from the Lebanon" is Jacob. HE EXPLAINED THAT "a well of living waters" is Isaac, as it is written, "and Isaac dwelt at Be'er Lachai Ro'i" (lit. 'a well of living and seeing'). What is 'a well?' It is the Shechinah, while 'living' is he who is the Life of the Worlds, namely, the Righteous - YESOD who is the Life of the Worlds - and they are not to be separated. He lives in both worlds - he lives above, in the higher world, NAMELY BINAH, and he lives in the lower world, WHICH IS MALCHUT. The lower world lives and shines from his strength.
10. Come and behold, the moon, NUKVA, shines only when she sees the sun, ZEIR ANPIN. When she sees him, she shines. Therefore this is called 'Be'er Lachai Ro'i,' for assuredly then she shines and stands filled with living water, "Lachai Ro'i," 'living and seeing,' so as to be filled and illuminated by that which lives, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, AS MENTIONED.