238. We learned they are called "the waters of Noah," because it was after him that they were so named; NAMELY, BECAUSE HE DID NOT PRAY FOR THEM. BUT what is the meaning of "For (Heb. zot) this is...to Me?" (Yeshayah 54:9). HE ANSWERS, The Holy One, blessed be He, said, The waters of Noah brought it on Me, that Zot appeared in the world, WHICH IS MALCHUT CALLED ZOT THAT APPEARED IN THE SECRET OF THE RAINBOW TO PROTECT THE WORLD, as written, "As for Me, this is My covenant with them" (Yeshayah 59:21) and "This (Heb. zot) is the token of the covenant...I have set My bow in the cloud" (Beresheet 9:12-13) SO AS TO PROTECT THE WORLD. Namely, THE RAINBOW IS AN INDICATION THAT no one cares FOR THE WORLD TO PRAY FOR IT but I, WHO DOES IT for the glory of My name that is alluded to in zot. Who caused this? The waters of Noah, WHO DID NOT PRAY, NOR PROTECTED THE WORLD.
239. This is a sign for a pious and righteous man, that the rainbow never appears in his days and that during his life the world is not in need of this sign, AS HE PROTECTS THE WORLD WITH HIS PRAYER. Who is such a man that could ask for mercy on the world, and is worthy of protecting it? A man like Rabbi Shimon, in whose days the world was not in need of this sign, as this sign is a token in the world THAT THERE IS NO ONE TO GIVE PROTECTION, SAVE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AS EXPLAINED.
240. There was not a decree that was pronounced above over the world that RABBI SHIMON did not nullify. This is the meaning of: "He that rules over men" (II Shmuel 23:3); NAMELY, THE VERSE: "THE ROCK OF YISRAEL SPOKE TO ME, HE THAT RULES OVER MEN MUST BE JUST, RULING IN THE FEAR OF ELOHIM." The Holy One, blessed be He, rules over men. Who, as it were, rules over the Holy One, blessed be He? The righteous man RULES, for the Holy One, blessed be He, decrees and he nullifies.
241. Rabbi Shimon, the son of Yochai, sat one day by the gate of Lod. He lifted up his eyes and saw the sun shining and concealing its light three times. While it happened, the light darkened and black and green appeared on the sun. He said to Rabbi Elazar his son: Follow me, son, and let us inquire, for assuredly a decree has been pronounced above, and the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to inform me. Indeed, the decree impends above thirty days and the Holy One, blessed be He, does not act before informing the righteous. Hence, it says, "Surely Hashem Elohim will do nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
242. While they were walking in the vineyard, they saw a snake coming with its mouth open, glowing on the ground in the dust. Rabbi Shimon was distressed and his hands struck the snake's head. The snake stopped and closed its mouth. RABBI SHIMON saw its tongue hissing and said to it: O snake, go and tell the supernal serpent, THE PERSECUTOR AND DENOUNCER, that Rabbi Shimon is in the world. THE SNAKE put its head inside a hole in the ground. RABBI SHIMON said, I decree that as this low snake returned to a hole in the ground, so will the supernal serpent return to the hole in the great abyss.
243. Rabbi Shimon whispered a prayer. While they were praying, they heard a voice SAYING, the decrees were stopped, go back to where you were. The plagues of the demons are no longer in the world, because Rabbi Shimon, son of Yochai, nullified them. Happy are you, Rabbi Shimon, whose Master is desirous of your honor more than that of all the inhabitants of the world. Of Moses, it is written, "And Moses implored (also: 'trembled')" (Shemot 32:11). It also implies that he was struck with an illness, but you, Rabbi Shimon, decree and the Holy One, blessed be He, establishes it; and He decrees and you nullify it.
244. In the meantime, he saw the sun shining and the blackness gone. Rabbi Shimon said, Surely this is because the world was scented. He came home and discussed the verse: "For Hashem is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright shall behold His face" (Tehilim 11:7). What is "His face" and wherefore "Hashem is righteous, He loves righteousness?" Because "the upright shall behold His face," namely the upper face of the inhabitants of the world, for they have to beg the Holy One, blessed be He, for mercy in all their needs.
245. Rabbi Elazar, his son, said to him: In that case, it should have said "an upright shall behold" in the singular or in the plural. Why DOES IT SAY "the upright (singular) shall behold (plural)?" He said to him: It is a supernal mystery. The olden days, NAMELY THE SFIROT of the most hidden Atika Kadisha, KETER, and the days of the world, THE SFIROT of Zeir Anpin called "His face," look AT EACH OTHER directly to see what needs seeing. NAMELY, THE FACE OF ZEIR ANPIN SEES THE FACE OF ATIKA AND THE FACE OF ATIKA SEES THE FACE OF ZEIR ANPIN DIRECTLY, WITHOUT TURNING RIGHT OR LEFT. THIS IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE VERSE: "THE UPRIGHT SHALL BEHOLD HIS FACE."
246. We learned that when the Holy One, blessed be He, heeds the world and sees that the deeds of men are proper, Atika Kadisha is revealed, WHICH IS KETER, in Zeir Anpin, TIFERET. All these faces OF ZEIR ANPIN look at the concealed face OF ATIKA and everyone is being blessed. Wherefore are they blessed? Because they look at each other in a direct way, NAMELY, BY WAY OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, which turns not right nor left. Hence, "the upright shall behold His face," FOR THE FACE OF ATIKA AND ZEIR ANPIN LOOK AT EACH OTHER IN A DIRECT MANNER; NAMELY, IN THE ASPECT OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN. Then everyone is blessed as though rivers of blessings flow from one to another, until all the worlds are blessed and all the worlds are as one. Then it is considered that "Hashem shall be one, and His name One" (Zecharyah 14:9).
247. When transgressions increase in the world, Atika Kadisha is closed and they do not look at each other face-to-face. Then Judgments stir in the world, thrones are placed and the Ancient One (Atik Yomin), KETER, is closed and not revealed. This is the meaning of: "As I looked, thrones were placed, and an ancient of days did sit" (Daniel 7:9). "Thrones are placed" REFERS TO the supernal crowns that water all others to sustain them. Who are they? The Patriarchs, CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET OF ZEIR ANPIN. "And an ancient of days did sit:" He is not revealed AND, THEREFORE, HE IS CONSIDERED TO BE SITTING, FOR HE WHO SITS DIMINISHES HIS STATURE. Then, the wicked in the world turn Mercy into Judgment.