331. "And Elohim spoke all these words, saying" (Shemot 20:1). Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion with that verse and said, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem? Who can declare all His praise?" (Tehilim 106:2). In how many ways does the Torah admonish man not to sin before his Master. In how many ways does it counsel him not to turn from the way, either to the right or to the left, and in how many forms it shows him how to return to his Master so that He may forgive him.
332. We have learned that the Torah has given a man 613 counsels in order that he may be perfect with his Master, for his Master desires only his good, both in this world and in the World to Come, but especially in the World to Come, since whatever good the Holy One, blessed be He, bestows upon man in this world is taken from the sum of good which he is entitled to receive in the World to Come. Why is that? Because the World to Come is the possession of the Holy One, blessed be He.
333. We have learned that the comparison between this world and the World to Come is as an antechamber compared with the hall itself. The reward of the righteous is His very own, as it is written of the tribe of Levi: "Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren." Why? Because "Hashem is their inheritance" (Devarim 18:2). Happy is the man who is entitled to receive such a supernal heritage, for he merits it in this world and in the house of this world, as well as in the World to Come and the heavenly, holy House, as it is written, "And to them will I give in My house and within My walls a memorial" (Yeshayah 56:5). Happy is the portion of the righteous for being worthy to dwell with the King in His own House.
334. Rabbi Shimon said, Happy is the portion of the righteous who is worthy of this, as it is written, "Then shall you delight yourself in (lit. 'above') Hashem" (Yeshayah 58:14). It is not written 'in Hashem,' but "above Hashem," namely in the place from which the upper and the lower worlds are derived and for which they yearn, of which it is written, "From where (Heb. ayin) comes my help?" (Tehilim 121:1) REFERS TO KETER WHICH IS CALLED NOTHINGNESS (Heb. AYIN). And it is also written, "And came to the Ancient of Days and they brought him near before him" (Daniel 7:13) NAMELY KETER WHICH IS CALLED 'THE ANCIENT OF DAYS.' The desire and the delight of the righteous is to look at that splendor whence all lights issue and all celestial crowns, WHICH ARE THE SFIROT, are drawn.
335. Rabbi Shimon continued, We learned of the verse, "Then shall you delight yourself in Hashem," that it ends with, "and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth" (Yeshayah 58:14). This refers to the place called 'the high places of the earth,' which is above "the earth," WHICH IS MALCHUT AND IS CALLED 'EARTH,' and "heaven," NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written, "The high places of the earth," FOR HEAVEN IS ABOVE THE EARTH.
336. Rabbi Aba continued with more explanations, It is not written, 'shall you sit' but rather, "shall you delight yourself in (lit. 'above') Hashem," namely "heaven," WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, for it is written, "Be You exalted, O Elohim, above the heavens" (Tehilim 57:12) THAT IS, ZEIR ANPIN. "And I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth," refers to the Land of the Living, WHICH IS MALCHUT CALLED 'EARTH.' The meaning of "upon the high places" is that it includes Zion and Jerusalem, FOR THEY ARE THE INSIDE AND THE OUTSIDE OF YESOD OF MALCHUT - meaning THAT THE VERSE SPEAKS OF the heaven above, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, and the earth above, WHICH IS MALCHUT. And that which Rabbi Shimon spoke is thus, AS I SAID, and it is all one, as written, "And came to the Ancient of Days," and all amounts to the same.
337. Rabbi Aba asked Rabbi Shimon, May my master explain the verse, "And I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father." RABBI SHIMON answered him, It was already explained that the delight and pleasure are, as written, "Above Hashem," which is above, NAMELY KETER. And it is written, "And came to the Ancient of Days and they brought him near before him." "Upon the high places of the earth" is as we said, THE LAND OF THE LIVING, NAMELY MALCHUT.
338. "And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father," has the same meaning as the verse, "Therefore the Elohim give you of the dew of heaven" (Beresheet 27:28). "THE DEW OF HEAVEN" means the heritage of Jacob, and when Isaac blessed Jacob he alluded to heaven, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, and he gave him the blessing that all the descendants of Jacob in the future will be revived by that dew, as it is written, "Therefore the Elohim give you." Only "you," and not to someone else. "The dew of heaven" is that by which the dead will be revived in the days to come, FOR THAT DEW ISSUES from Atika Kadisha (the Holy Ancient One) to Zeir Anpin, WHICH IS CALLED 'HEAVEN' and resides in heaven. Rabbi Aba thought OF THE VERSE and said, Now everything is clear, and I see that there is even more significance in Isaac's blessing than I had thought.
339. "Who can utter (Heb. yemalel) the mighty acts of Hashem?" (Tehilim 106:2). HE ASKS, Why does it say "utter" instead of 'tell.' Rabbi Chiya explained the answer by citing the verse, "then you may pluck the ears (Heb. melilot) with your hand" (Devarim 23:26). THEY ARE SO CALLED, FOR ONE HAS TO SEPARATE THE GRAINS FROM THE EAR BY PLUCKING (HEB. MELILAH) WITH THE HANDS, AND WHEN IT SAYS "UTTER" IT MEANS THAT ONE SHOULD SEPARATE AND CANCEL THE JUDGMENTS OF HASHEM. The word "Gvurot (lit. 'mighty acts')" of Hashem IS SPELLED WITHOUT THE LETTER VAV - THE INDICATION OF THE PLURAL FORM - AND implies that there are many Gvurot but all of them are coming from one Gvurah. We have learned that there is one supernal Gvurah, the crown of the crowns, WHICH IS BINAH FROM WHICH JUDGMENTS ARE AROUSED and from which come fifty gates, some to the right and some to the left. And each one of them is called 'Gvurah,' and each one of them is crowned with the lights of the supernal carvings, and all of them are called "the mighty acts of Hashem."
340. Rabbi Chiya said, THEREFORE, the word Gvurot is written without THE LETTER VAV, for all THE GVUROT are included within THE SUPERNAL GVURAH, WHICH IS BINAH. The closing part of the verse is, "Who can declare all His praise?" This indicates the Shechinah, which is the most precious glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is expressed in the verse, "His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of His praise" (Chavakuk 3:3).