354. They sat inside the cave all that day. When night fell, the moon shone into the cave. Two merchants passed by with their mules laden with wine and food for themselves. They rested on their load. They said to each other: Let us pass the night here. We shall give food and drink to the donkeys and go into the cave. His friend said to him: Before we do so, please explain this verse which I cannot understand.
355. He said to him: Which one? He said to him: A word in the verse: "I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it..." (Tehilim 52:11). Why does it say "You have done" without specifying what HE HAS DONE? It is also written, "For it is good, before Your saints" (Ibid.). Is it not good to others? INDEED THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, IS GOOD TO ALL. He had no ANSWER. He said, Woe to our merchandise, for which we left the Holy One, blessed be He. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi who sat in the cave, LISTENING TO THEIR WORDS, rejoiced. Rabbi Chiya said to Rabbi Yosi: Did I not tell you that when the Holy One, blessed be He, makes a miracle, He does so completely. They came out OF THE CAVE TOWARDS THE MERCHANTS.
356. When they came out, Rabbi Chiya was the first to open with the verse: "Peace, peace both for far and near" (Yeshayah 57:19). There is peace twice here, one for the far and one for the near, and all is one; namely, to the far one who became near, who is a repentant sinner, who was far before and now is near. Also, far MEANS that when man strays far from the Torah, he is far from the Holy One, blessed be He. The Holy One, blessed be He, draws him who is near the Torah near Him. HE SAID TO THE MERCHANTS: Join us and come into the cave. The merchants came and joined them. They took the loads off the mules and gave them food. Then they all went out to the mouth of the cave.
357. One of the merchants said, Let the sages of the Torah explain to us the verse: "I will give You thanks forever (lit. 'the world'), because You have done it: and I will wait for Your name." What is "You have done," without saying what? It is also written, "For it is good, before Your saints," so is He not good towards others?
358. Rabbi Chiya said, indeed "You have done." What have You done? The world, NAMELY, THE MEANING OF THE VERSE IS THAT I WILL GIVE YOU THANKS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE THE WORLD. It is for the world which the Holy One, blessed be He, made and fixed, that man gives thanks daily to the Holy One, blessed be He. "And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, before Your saints." Surely this is so. The name of the Holy One, blessed be He, is good before the saints, not before the evil who scorn it daily by not studying the Torah. THE MERCHANT said to him: This is well, yet I heard something from behind the wall, which I fear to reveal. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi said to him: Speak up. The Torah is not bequeathed to one place alone.
359. He said to them: I went to Lod one day. I came into the town and leaned against a wall. Rabbi Shimon, son of Yochai, was in that house and I heard from his mouth this verse: "I will give You thanks forever (lit. 'the world'), because You have done it." "I will give thanks" was said by King David about the last world, NAMELY MALCHUT, He made, to which world King David is attached, in which he inherited the kingdom. "And I will wait for Your name, for it is good:" This is the Holy One, blessed be He, in the unification of this world that is called good, NAMELY YESOD. HE EXPLAINS THE VERSE: When is it called good? "before Your saints." HE ASKS, Who are Your saints?
360. HE ANSWERS, There is Chesed and there is Chesed, NAMELY AN UPPER CHESED, CHESED OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND A LOWER CHESED, CHESED CLOTHED WITH MALCHUT VIA NETZACH AND HOD. The ones ON NETZACH AND HOD are called "the sure loving promises (Heb. chassadim) of David" (Yeshayah 55:3). When the Chassadim of David, NETZACH AND HOD, are filled with the goodness flowing from Atika Kadisha, KETER, then Yesod is called good and it is good BEFORE YOUR SAINTS (HEB. CHASSIDECHA), WHO ARE NETZACH AND HOD. When YESOD is in it, IN GOODNESS, it perfumes the last world, MALCHUT, and everything is blessed. David therefore awaited this grade, YESOD CALLED GOOD which shines on the world, to which he cleaves, NAMELY MALCHUT.
361. I have heard these words this way but do not know what they mean. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi approached him and kissed his head. Rabbi Chiya said, Who could cover your eyes with dust, Rabbi Shimon? From your place, you cause high mountains to tremble and even the birds of the sky rejoice in your words. Woe to the world when you shall depart from it.
362. THE MERCHANT also said, I have heard yet another thing from him at that time, the verse which says, "Now therefore, our Elohim, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications...for the sake of Adonai" (Daniel 9:17). He said the following: If the name ADONAI is more important than any other name, it is well THAT HE SAID "FOR THE SAKE OF ADONAI," for thus PEOPLE speak: Do for the sake of the king. But it is known that the name ADONAI is the courthouse, NAMELY MALCHUT, from which Judgments go forth into the world. Who has seen that the King is thus spoken to: 'Do for your servant, or for something lesser than yourself?'
363. HE ANSWERS, SURELY it ought to be so said AS HAS BEEN SAID, since this name ADONAI has fixed a house for the King and the Temple below, and they cleave to each other. FOR THE NAME ADONAI, SYMBOLIZING THE SHECHINAH, IS ATTACHED TO THE TEMPLE, HER DWELLING PLACE, since they are mutually attached. When the Temple stands below, the name ADONAI stands above. This is LIKE saying to the king: Build this house and this temple, so that the queen shall not sit outside her temple. Here, too, "and cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary that is desolate, for the sake of Adonai" (Daniel 9:17) MEANS wherefore DO I ASK FOR YOUR DESOLATE SANCTUARY? IT IS for the sake of Adonai, so that THE NAME ADONAI, MALCHUT, will not be outside its abode, THE TEMPLE.