241. "And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt..." (Beresheet 40:1). Rabbi Yehuda opened with the verse, "Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has taken nothing?" (Amos 3:4) Come and behold, how careful should a man be in worshipping the Holy One, blessed be He, for whoever is assiduous in studying the Torah and serving the Holy One, blessed be He, is feared by all.
242. For when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the universe, He made all the creatures in the world in their appropriate shape. He then created man in the supernal image and made him ruler, by power of this image, over all creatures. As long as man continues in the world, all creatures look up to him, and when they see the Supernal Image of man, they feel dread and tremble before him, as it is written, "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird" (Beresheet 9:2). This is true only when they look and see in him the Supernal Image, and the soul IS in him.
243. Rabbi Elazar said that the image of the Righteous does not change, even when the soul is not in them. When a man does not walk in the ways of the Torah, his sacred image is altered, and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky then prevail against him. When the sacred image was changed, so was the image of man, WHO THEN RECEIVED THE IMAGE OF THE OTHER ANIMALS, SO THAT CREATURES ARE NO LONGER FEARFUL OF HIM AND CAN HAVE POWER OVER HIM.
244. Come and behold, the Holy One, blessed be He, alters the deeds above and below. THAT IS, HE SWITCHES THE SACRED IMAGE ABOVE AND THE IMAGE OF MAN BELOW to bring matters back to their roots, AS THEY WERE BEFORE THE SIN OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, so that His wish shall abide in all the world's deeds. BY RETRIBUTION, ALL THE DEEDS IN THE WORLD IMPROVE. Daniel's image was not changed when he was cast into the lions' den and, because of that, he was saved. Rabbi Chizkiyah asks, If this is true, why is it written, "My Elohim has sent his angel, and he has shut the lions' mouths, that they have no hurt me" (Daniel 6:23)? It sounds as if he was not hurt because of the angels who shut the lions' mouths, AND NOT BECAUSE OF HIS SACRED IMAGE.
245. He said to him: Daniel was not hurt because the sacred image of a righteous man is the very angel who shut the LIONS' mouths and shackled them to keep Daniel safe. Therefore, DANIEL SAID, "My Elohim has sent an angel" (Daniel 6:23). This refers to that angel upon whom all the images of the world are engraved. He strengthened the image in me, so that the lions could not overpower me, and he shut their mouths. Assuredly, He sent His angel.
246. This is the one angel upon whom all the images are engraved. HE IS THE SECRET OF THE NUKVA, CALLED 'ANGEL,' FROM WHOM ALL THE SHAPES IN THE WORLD ARE ISSUED. It is written, "He judges among the nations, their land is full of dead bodies" (Tehilim 110:6), FOR ALL THE SHAPES OF THE BODIES ARE BEFORE HIM BECAUSE no shape can change itself before him. Thus, it behooves a man to guard his ways and paths so as not to sin before his Master, and thereby retain the image of Adam.
247. Come and behold, Ezekiel guarded his mouth against forbidden food, as it is written, "Nor did loathsome meat ever come into my mouth" (Yechezkel 4:14). He therefore merited being named the son of Adam. It is written of Daniel: "But Daniel intended in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food, nor with the wine which he drank" (Daniel 1:8). He then merited preserving the image of Adam. For all the beings in the world were fearful of the image of Adam, who ruled over them all and was king over all.
248. Rabbi Yosi said that a man should beware of sinning and not deviate right or left. ALTHOUGH HE GUARDS HIMSELF, he should search himself daily for sins. For when a man rises from his bed, two witnesses stand before him and accompany him the whole day.
249. When a man wishes to rise, he opens his eyes and the witnesses say to him, "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you" (Mishlei 4:25). When he prepares himself to go, they say to him, "Make even the path of your foot" (Ibid. 26). Thus, when a man walks, he should guard against his sins the whole day.
250. When night falls, he should examine and search his actions for that day to repent for his deeds. He should always search them so he can repent before his Master, as it is written, "And my sin is ever before me" (Tehilim 51:5).