245. "And Moses went up to Elohim and Hashem called to him out of the mountain, saying" (Shemot 19:3). "And Moses went up to Elohim" MEANS THAT Moses went up to the place where the wings of the Shechinah are outspread, as it is written, "He bowed the heavens also and came down" (Tehilim 18:9).
246. We have learned that Rabbi Yehuda said that as long as the legislations of the Supernal King adhere to their proper places, MEANING THAT THEY BALANCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND LEFT, all the worlds are with joy and all the works are maintained properly, as it is written, "The work of Hashem...that it is tremendous" (Shemot 34:10). What does "tremendous" mean? Rabbi Elazar said that it is the perfection of all, as it is written, "A great El, a mighty and a terrible" (Devarim 10:17). What does "terrible" mean? This is Jacob, THE CENTRAL COLUMN, for it is written, "And Jacob was a plain man" (Beresheet 25:27). "...Plain..." is translated as, 'a complete man,' perfect in all. Thus, all the deeds of the Holy One, blessed be He, are perfect in wholeness, and are perfectly maintained.
247. As we learned, Rabbi Yosi explained that one day, while he was standing before Rabbi Yehuda Saba (the elder), he asked him about the meaning of the verse, "And he was afraid and said, 'How dreadful is this place'" (Beresheet 28:17). What did Jacob see that frightened him and made him call it "dreadful?" Rabbi Yehuda explained that he saw there the perfection of the holy Faith, WHICH IS MALCHUT, that was frequent in that place as it is above, and any place wherein His perfection is found is called "dreadful."
248. I asked him, If that is so, why then is the word "dreadful" translated into Aramaic as 'fear' and not as 'perfection?' FOR IF "DREADFUL" MEANS 'PERFECTION,' HE SHOULD HAVE TRANSLATED IT AS "PERFECTION." He answered that there is no awe but in a place where perfection is found, and any place in which there is completeness is called "dreadful," as it is written, "O fear Hashem you saints of His, for those who fear Him there is no lack" (Tehilim 34:10). We can learn from this verse, "there is no lack," THAT AWE IS COMPLETENESS, for wherever there is no deficiency there is completeness.
249. We studied, "Who has ascended up into heaven and come down" (Mishlei 30:4). Rabbi Yosi said that it is Moses, for it is written, "And Moses went up to Elohim" (Shemot 19:3). "Who has gathered the wind in His fists" (Mishlei 30:4)? It is Aaron, as it is written, "And his hands full of sweet incense beaten small" (Vayikra 16:12). "Who has bound the waters in a garment?" It is Elijah, as it is written, "There shall not be dew or rain these years but according to my word" (I Melachim 17:1). "Who has established all the ends of the earth?" It is Abraham, of whom it is written, "These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created (behibar'am)" (Beresheet 2:4). Do not pronounce it 'behibar'am,' but "beAbraham (lit. 'by Abraham')," (spelled with the same letters).
250. He taught this, and said, "Who has ascended up into heaven?" The Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is written, "Elohim is gone up with a shout" (Tehilim 47:6). "Who gathered the wind in His fists?" The Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is written, "In whose hands is the soul of every living thing" (Iyov 12:9). "Who has bound the waters in a garment?" The Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is written, "He binds up the waters in His thick clouds" (Iyov 26:8). "Who has established all the ends of the earth?" The Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is written, "In the day that Hashem Elohim made the earth and the heavens" (Beresheet 2:4). RABBI YOSI continued further and said, "Who went up into heaven and came down?" Those are the four bonds of the world, fire, air, water and earth.
251. Rabbi Yesa said, It is evident that Rabbi Yosi's interpretations of this verse have no hold, FOR THEY ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH EACH OTHER. But when Rabbi Shimon heard them he put his hand on the head of Rabbi Yosi and blessed him, saying: Your interpretations are quite right and well said, and it is indeed so. Where have you learned THIS? And he answered, I have learned them from my father who heard it from Rav Hamnuna Saba (the elder).
252. One day, Rabbi Shimon was sitting at the gate of Tzipori when Rabbi Yesa said to him, That which Rabbi Yosi said, "Who ascended up into the heavens and came down," he applied once to Moses then to the Holy One, blessed be He, and finally he said that these are the four bonds, fire, air, water and earth - and I saw that my master blessed him!
253. Rabbi Shimon replied, Assuredly, what he said is well spoken, and so it is. All are the same, and all things apply to the Holy One, blessed be He, and all of them amount to the same thing. Rabbi Yesa became excited by the words of Rabbi Shimon and he said, This is indeed so, and on another occasion I learned from my master the explanation of the verse, "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created" (Heb. behibar'am). Do not read it as 'behibar'am,' but rather "beabra'ham ('in Abraham')" (with the same letters) - NAMELY, WITH CHESED OF ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written, "For I have said, the world is built by Chesed (Eng. 'kindness')" (Tehilim 89:3), AND ALL THE OTHER NAMES -- MOSES, AARON, ELIJAH AND THE FOUR ELEMENTS, FIRE, AIR, WATER AND EARTH -- AS ALL ARE THE NAMES OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
254. This is well said, but what is the meaning of the last part of the verse saying: "What is his name and what is His son's name that you should know" (Mishlei 30:4)? I can understand "What is His name," but what about "His son's name?" Rabbi Shimon replied, I have already taught the secret of this verse to my son Rabbi Elazar. He said to him, Please, tell me master, for I have asked you in a dream concerning it and I have forgotten the answer. He replied, Now if I tell you will you remember it? Rabbi Yesa answered, Assuredly, for what my master teaches me by daytime I remember.