25. Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "Therefore listen to me you men of understanding: Far be it from El to do wickedness and from Shadai to commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall He pay back to him, and according to his ways will He cause every man to receive his due" (Iyov 34:10). Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He created it by Judgment, and it exists upon Judgment. All worldly affairs exist according to the principles of Judgment. Nevertheless, to support the world and prevent its destruction, the Holy One, blessed be He, spreads Mercy over it. This Mercy tempers Judgment, so that it does not put an end to the world. Thus, the world acts according to Mercy, and endures due to it.
26. And if you say that the Holy One, blessed be He, judges man without justice, we have learned that when Judgment prevails on man and he is righteous, it is because of the love of the Holy One, blessed be He. As we have learned, when the Holy One, blessed be He, feels pity for a man, it is to bring the man closer to Him. The Holy One, blessed be He, breaks the body so as to give the soul total control. Then man can come closer to Him with love, as is fitting, and the soul controls man while his body is weakened!
27. A man needs to have a weak body and a strong soul that shall grow stronger still. Then he is beloved by the Holy One, blessed be He. According to the friends, the Holy One, blessed be He, causes sorrow to the righteous in this world so that the righteous may merit the World to Come.
28. When the soul is weak and the body strong, man is hated by the Holy One, blessed be He, who does not care for him. Therefore, He inflicts no suffering on him in this world. His life runs smoothly and perfectly, for if this man gives alms or performs a kindness, the Holy One, blessed be He, rewards him in this world so that he will have no portion in the World to Come. This is why Unkelos translated the verse, "And He repays them that hate Him to their face" (Devarim 7:10) as 'And He repays them that Hate him in this world.' Thus, the righteous person, who always experiences pain, is beloved by the Holy One, blessed be He. This is true only if he is found to have committed no sin that merits punishment.
29. There are several aspects to this matter. First, we see that the Shechinah does not dwell in a place of sorrow, but only in a place of joy. If a place has no joy, the Shechinah will not abide there. This is echoed in the verse, "But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of Hashem came upon him" (II Melachim 3:15); for assuredly the Shechinah does not dwell in a place of sadness. From where do we derive this principle? We learn this from Jacob, from whom the Shechinah departed during the time he mourned Joseph. When joy came upon him with the good news about Joseph, immediately, "the spirit of Jacob their father revived" (Beresheet 45:27). THERE IS A MYSTERY HERE, for where is joy in a righteous man who is broken by troubles and is weak and suffering? Surely he must be saddened with no joy at all.
30. WE MUST LOOK into another matter, for many just men who are beloved of the Holy One, blessed be He, do not suffer bodily pain or diseases; their bodies never weaken. Why are they not as the other righteous men? WHY IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN those who were physically broken and those who were healthy?
31. It is said that those who live well are righteous, the children of righteous men, as has already been explained, while the others, WHOSE BODIES WERE CRUSHED, are righteous, but are not children of righteous men. Yet we see righteous men whose fathers are righteous, EVEN whose fathers were of righteous men, YET THEY STILL SUFFER MUCH PAIN. Why do they suffer bodily pain and spend their days in grief?
32. There is a mystery here, for all the works of the Holy One, blessed be He, are according to Truth and Justice. "For the work of a man shall he pay back to him, and according to his ways will he cause to befall every man" (Iyov 34:11). I found in ancient books a mystery, and another mystery REVEALED within it - thus, one mystery which is two SECRETS. There are times when the moon, THE NUKVA, is defective and under Judgment, and the sun, ZEIR ANPIN, is hidden from her. She releases souls to give to men, which she first gathered FROM ZEIR ANPIN AT ANY TIME. THEREFORE, she releases THOSE SOULS, EVEN AT A DEFECTIVE TIME, when she is under Judgment. Whoever receives such a soul will always be in want and poverty, and broken under Judgment throughout all his life - be he just or wicked. Only prayer annuls all judgmental sentences. A MAN can avert them through prayer.
33. When that grade, THE NUKVA, is complete, and the river which flows and comes out FROM EDEN, YESOD, unites with her, the soul that she releases cleaves to man. He is complete in all - in riches, children and a healthy body.
34. All this depends upon mazal ('constellation, luck'), YESOD, which is drawn to and attached to that grade, THE NUKVA, for Her to be perfected and blessed by it. Therefore, all depends upon Mazal. We have learned that "children, life and livelihood do not depend upon merit but upon mazal." There is no merit until THE NUKVA is filled and shines from mazal, WHICH IS YESOD.