WHY was the thigh of Jacob weakened? Because impurity attacks a man on his left side and deprives him of his power and strength, and this state of weakness prevailed till the coming of Samuel, who reminded the people that netzach was the light of Jacob, the netzach that triumphs in Israel. This also is why the Prophecies of Samuel during his lifetime were denunciations of wrath and judgment. Furthermore, the Holy One endowed Samuel afterwards with the sephirothic power called hod. When? After he had anointed Saul and David as kings, which made him the equal of Moses and Aaron who rejoiced, the one in Netzach, the other in Hod.
All the sephiroth are bound together in orderly sequence as it is written: "Moses and Aaron were his priests and Samuel amongst those that call upon his name" (Ps. xl. 6). All are united and joined the one to the other, as were Jacob, Moses and Joseph. At first Jacob was lord of the house, then after his death Moses took possession. Joseph only ruled it during his life and that through Jacob his father. When he died Moses then ruled, for when the Divine Presence went out of Egypt, Moses became joined to Joseph, as it is said: "And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him" (Ex. xiii. 19).21b-22a
Why is it said, "with him?" Because as a man cannot enjoy the female except through means of a body, so with the body of Joseph as a link, Moses became united with the Schekina, which thus in a manner of speaking had three husbands, being united at first with Jacob, then Joseph and Moses. Jacob died, and his body was buried in the holy land. Joseph died, but his body was not buried there, only his bones. Moses died, but neither his bones nor his body were interred in the holy land. After his death, the Schekina entered into Palestine and returned to her
first husband, Jacob. From this we infer that a woman twice married after her decease becomes joined to and cohabits with her first husband. Moses entered not into Palestine, yet was he more favored than Jacob, who became joined to the Schekina on high after death, whilst Moses was honored by her presence with h in earth life. If it is said the pre-eminence is with Jacob, it is not so, because when the children of Israel went forth out of Egypt, they were subjects of Jubilee, the lowest stage of knowledge leading to divine wisdom and knowledge, and therefore wandered they in the wilderness, being unable to enter into Palestine. Their children, however, entered in, because they were children of the Schekina. During life Moses lived with her and followed her commands, but when he departed out of the world he ascended to the mount of the Holy Spirit, and through it to Jubilee on high where were gathered the six hundred thousand souls that along with him had come out of Egypt. With Jacob this was not the case.22a He, through the spirit, attained to that degree in the divine life termed Shemita, corresponding to the period of demission in connection with the year of Jubilee. He did not enjoy communion with the Schekina in his lifetime because he had to concern himself too much with the cares of his household. The holy land could only be gained and entered by divine aid and assistance. This is why those who are spiritually minded only become united with the Divine, whilst those engrossed with the cares, duties and anxieties of married life are only partially so. The life of the former is spiritual, that of the latter is carnal and worldly. There can be no point of union, no association with one another.
Between those who died in the wilderness and those who entered into the promised land is only a physical resemblance. Those who died in the wilderness attained to that degree of spirituality which enable them to behold the Divine in all his wondrous works and marvellous doing with their own eyes, whilst those who entered into the Promised Land and had lived in the wilderness were worldly minded and thus unqualified for the attainment of spiritual light and life. Jacob, whilst he lived, was attached to his wives, but after death his spirit became united with the Divine. Moses separated himself from his wife and attached himself to the Divine whilst in the body, and after death became united with the great mysterious Being who is above all and in all.
All the separate grades and degrees of spiritual life form
one great and vast whole. The soul of Moses belongs to that called Jubilee, his body to Shemita. The soul of Jacob belonged to Shemita, his body to his wives. All these celestial degrees of light have their types on the earth plane and are suspended and posited or placed in the firmament. Though the scripture uses two different words to denote heaven, yet are they synonyms one of the other and mean the same thing, being included in one name, the mysterious name containing all names, of Him who can only be the object of all our thought and subject of all our faith.
And God said: "Let us make man" (Gen. i. 26). "The secret of the Lord, that is, the secret of the divine life, is with them that fear him."Ps. 35:14
Rabbi Simeon was sitting surrounded by his students and meditating on these words when suddenly a voice audible only to himself cried "Simeon! Simeon!"22a what signify these words "Let us make man?" Who was he that spake thus to Alhim? It was the voice of the great celestial Being known as the Aged of the Aged who, making himself visible for a moment and speaking these words to Rabbi Simeon, disappeared then from view and was seen no more.
Divining from the exclamation Simeon! Simeon! and not Rabbi! who it was that had addressed him, Rabbi Simeon turned to the students and made known to them who and what he had just seen and heard.
"It is evident," said he, "that the Holy One whom the scriptures describe as The Ancient of Days (Dan. vii. 9) has just spoken and now is the time to unfold and make known a profound mystery which up to the present has never been divulged and revealed to mortal man."
Pausing a moment as one enraptured and overwhelmed, and filled by the sudden influx of a great invisible spiritual force and power, the students gazing in breathless silence and speechless wonderment, in low and solemn tones Rabbi Simeon spake again.
"In ages long gone by lived a great and powerful king whose design it was to build palaces wherein to dwell and live in a manner becoming his royal grandeur. In his retinue of servants and attendants was found an architect, of great abilities and lofty genius in the art and science of construction, who made it the chief aim of his life to acquaint himself with the plans and ideas of his monarch and carry thorn into execution and doing nothing except by his authority and command.
The king was the Divine Being personified in scripture as
heavenly Wisdom. Alhim was the celestial architect personified22a-22b as "the heavenly Mother." Alhim was also the architect of the world below and was designated and known as the Schekina, and as a woman is not allowed to do anything without the consent and against the wish and will of her husband, all the palaces have been built by emanation. The father, through the Logos or Word, said to the mother: "Let this be done!" and it was done at once, as it is written: "And God said let there be light and light was," that is, the Logos said to Alhim, the creative Logos, "let there be light." The master or lord of the palace speaks and the architect forthwith executes and thus were all the palaces or worlds made and produced by emanations, as, "let there be a firmament," "let, there be lights in the firmament," all were done on the moment. Regarding the present world, the world of separation, that is to say where all things appear to be independent of each other, the architect said to the master of the palaces: "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness." Certainly replied the master, it will be good to make him, but he will surely transgress and commit wrong against thee, in that he will be ignorant and foolish, as it is written: "A wise son is the joy of his father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother" (Prov. x. 1). A wise son denotes man who came forth by emanation, a foolish son, created man."
Rabbi Simeon ceased speaking as all the students before him rose up and cried: Rabbi! Rabbi! Master! Master! Was there then a division between the Father and the Mother whether man should come forth from the father by emanation or from the mother by creation?
No, replied Rabbi Simeon, because man by emanation is male and female as he proceeds from the father and mother conjoined, as it is written: "And God said let there be light and light was." "Let there be light" connotes the part of man that emanated from the father; that is, the male principle; "and light was," refers to that part that emanated from the mother, the female principle. Man therefore was created androgynous with two faces. The emanative man possessed no special form or likeness, but the heavenly mother it was who wished to produce and provide the created man with a special image. Now the two lights emanating from the father and mother, called in scripture, light and darkness, the form of created man must of necessity be compounded from the active light proceeding from the father, and the passive light (termed darkness) that proceeded
from the mother. As, however, the father had said to the mother that the emanated man if placed in the world would through frailty transgress and sin, he refused to take part in the formation of a human form for him. For this reason the light created on the first day was concealed and hidden and treasured up by the Holy One for the righteous, as also the darkness was created and reserved at the same time for the evil and wicked, as it is written: "The wicked shall be silent in darkness" (I Sam. ii. 9). And it was also on account of this darkness that man would, as foreseen, sin against the light, the father was unwilling to take part in the creation of man below on the earth plane.22b This also is why the mother said: "Let us make man in our image," that is of light, "and in our likeness," of passive light or darkness (which as has been stated is a materialized allotrophic form of light itself), which serves as a garment of the light as the body serves as a covering for the soul, as it is written: "Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh" (Job x. ii).
As Rabbi Simeon ceased speaking for a moment, the students, one and all, pleased and delighted with their master's teaching, exclaimed: "Happy oh Master is our lot, in that we have had the privilege of hearing and listening to teachings that have never been delivered and imparted to anyone until now."
Resuming his discourse, Rabbi Simeon spake and said: "See now! that I even I am He and there is no Alhim with me" (Deuter. xxxii. 39). Give attention, oh students, to the expositions I am about to give of teachings handed down from ancient masters which I am permitted to impart and make known to you. Who was he that gave expression to the words: "Behold I even I am He"' It was the Supreme Being, the Highest of the high, the Cause of all causes. the one and only originator of the universe, without whom nothing was made that was made, in heaven above or on earth below, as we have already expounded in our remarks on the words: "Let us make man." From the plural form of this expression, we perceive that in the divine essence there are two hypostatic beings or Logoi who speak the one to the other at this moment. The second said to the first: "Let us make man" because it did nothing from itself, but by the permission of the first. He it is who said: "Behold I even I am He and there was no Alhim with Me"; that is, there was no Alhim with whom I consulted and took counsel, therefore, the logical conclusion is that Alhim who said "Let us make man" was a hypostatical Logos made for the creation of man.
Master! cried the students as they stood up. pardon our interrupting thee, but hast thou not said that the Cause of all22b-23a causes said to the first hypostatic being or Logos, called Kether (Crown), "Let us make man."
Then answered Rabbi Simeon and said, note well the explanation I am about to give unto you. I have not said that He who is Cause of all causes is the same as the Alhim, or that He is not the same. In the divine essence there is no conjunction of persons or natures whatever as commonly understood. What conjunction there is in the divine essence is similar to that which exists in the male and female principles which are as one, as it is written: "For I called them one" (Is. li. 2). Because in the divine essence there is no multiplicity nor conjunction, therefore is it that God said: "Behold I even I am He and no Alhim is with me"; that is, I am Alhim and Alhim is I.
Then rose up all the students and bowed themselves before their master, Rabbi Simeon, and said: Happy and blessed is the man whom his Lord hath chosen and permitted to reveal and make known mysteries that have never been divulged even to the angels themselves.
Rabbi Simeon continuing his discourse spake and said: We must bring to a close the interpretation of the esoteric meaning of this most mysterious part of scripture. It is further added: "I kill and make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand" (Deuter. xxxii. 39). The words "I kill and make alive" have reference to the sephiroth found on the right hand of the sephirothic tree of life, viz., hochma (wisdom), chesed (grace), and netzach (victory); those on the left hand being binah, (understanding), geburah (justice), hod (glory). From the former proceed principles conducive to life, from the latter those that tend and converge to death. If these pairs of opposites had not been united by the mediating sephiroth, viz., tiphereth (beauty), yesod (foundation), and malkuth (kingdom), there could not have been any equilibrium of principles in the world, no balance of justice, inasmuch as every perfect tribunal consists of three judges who in their official capacity and jurisdiction are considered as one. When the three Logoi constitute themselves as a tribunal for the dispensation of right and justice, the right hand is extended to receive penitents and on the sephirothic tree this hand, termed the Schekina, the right hand of God, is associated with chesed (grace or mercy). The left hand is associated with the sephiroth geburah (justice).
[paragraph continues] The hand called on the above mentioned three, Jehovah or Schekina, corresponds to the mediating sephiroth, tiphereth (beauty, etc.), so that when a man repents of his sins and wrongdoings, this hand is outstretched to save him from the exacting justice and severity of the tribunal; but when the Cause of all causes judges,23a then as scripture states, "there is none that can deliver out of my hands." Still further, in this verse, the word I (ani) is repeated three times and thus there are three alephs, a, a, a, and three yods, i, i, i which letters form part of the tetragrammaton, or Sacred Name, written in full. The verse also contains three vaus (v-ahayeh, v-ani, v-en) that are also found in the divine name. The masters have explained the occurrence of the word Alhim in this verse as meaning Alhim acherim, other, that is, false Gods. According to this view the interpretation of it is this. "Behold I, even I, the Holy One am He, or I am the Schekina and Alhim is not with me; that is, the demons Samuel (prince of darkness) and Nachash (serpent) are not with me. I kill and make alive by the Schekina; I destroy the guilty and unrepentant and I make to live him that is just and upright; and there is none who can deliver out of my hands; that is, from the hands of Jehovah, from the three Logoi whose essence is denoted by and concealed in the fourteen letters of the mysterious word Chuza Bmuchso Chuza. Such is the truth."
The interpretation we have given and the remarks we have made concerning the Supreme Being, the Cause of all causes, and his relation to the Logoi have never been hitherto vouchsafed and imparted either to prophet or sage. Ponder over and observe the mysterious gradations of the Divine essence or life obscurely and dimly connoted by the sephiroth who are its raiments and coverings and as there is an ascending series of worlds beyond worlds in infinite succession profusely scattered throughout the boundless realms of space each with their motions, periods of duration and their laws, in one grand scheme involved and in a perfect whole united, so with the sephiroth in the highest world of emanations. Though differing in their relationship to the great center and source of Life and Light, yet are they each of them mirrors of the glory and beauty, the splendor and power, the might and majesty of the divine attributes and reflections of the Cause of all causes, the great Being dwelling in light ineffable, in presence of which all other lights become dimmed and disappear as fades and vanishes the darkness before the rising sun.
"Let us make man." Another and altogether different interpretation and meaning has been given of these words by the learned of former times, and is as follows: They apply them as spoken by ministering angels who, endowed with a knowledge both of the past, the present and future, foresaw that man would fall and therefore they opposed his creation. Furthermore, at the moment that the Schekina or creative Logos said to the Holy One: "Let us make man" the angels Aza and Azael objected and said: Why create man since thou foreseest that he will sin and break thy law, along with the woman who will be formed from the passive light called darkness, as the man from the active light? Then spoke the Schekina and said in reply to them: Through woman, against whom ye object, shall ye yourselves fall and lose your glory and state, as it is written: "And the sons of Alhim23a saw the daughters of man were fair and they took them wives of all which they chose" (Gen. vi. 2).
Said the students to Rabbi Simeon: Master! were not Aza and Azael correct in saying that man through the woman would sin and transgress?
To this remark Rabbi Simeon replied: It was on this account that the Schekina said unto them: "Before accusing them ye should see to it that ye are better and stronger and purer than they. Man will fall and sin by one woman alone; ye will fall and be seduced by many. He will repent, but ye will become obdurate and hardened in your sin."
Said the students again to Rabbi Simeon, since sexual desires and impulses were the cause of sin and transgression, wherefore do they exist?
Said Rabbi Simeon: If the Holy One had not created a spirit of good that emanates from the active light, and spirit of evil that emanates from the passive light or darkness, man would have been a neutral ignorant kind of being unable to distinguish and contrast things essential to mental growth and spiritual development and progress; therefore was he created dual in nature, endowed with sexual feelings and rational functions, from the right and orderly discharge of which, or otherwise, he enjoys or suffers, as it is written: "See I have set before thee this day, life and good, death and evil" (limiter. xxx. 15).
Why then, said the students, was man thus created with a power of choosing and determining his future? Would it not have been better to have formed him with no desires and inclinations except for the just, the true and good, and thus have
avoided becoming the cause of such disturbance in heavenly regions?
Said Rabbi Simeon in reply: It was necessary that man23a-23b should be created thus in order that the good law might operate and be an incentive to spiritual progress and development. Now the law in its jurisdiction operates in two ways in the dispensation of justice, promising rewards to the righteous and decreeing punishment to the guilty and sinful; therefore is it written; "Verily there is a reward for the righteous and punishment for the wicked," and man must therefore be created and adapted for the reception of these different effects, viz., rewards and penalties. The Divine Being desires that good should prevail throughout the world, as the scripture saith: "He hath not created the earth in vain, he formed it to be inhabited" (Is. xlv. 18). Furthermore, the good law is as it were a judicial robe to the Schekina, and if man had been created without moral tendencies and with an inclination liable to be diverted to evil as well as good, then would the Schekina have been like a poor man without garb or raiment. He who commits sin despoils in a manner the Schekina of its robe and incurs punishment and condemnation; as on the other hand, he who observes and practices the commandments of the law, is accounted as meritorious as one who arrays the Schekina with a robe or garment. This truth is symbolized by the garment with fringes or borders (zizith) as it is written: "For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin when he shall sleep" (Ex. xxii. 27) referring to the Schekina. When anyone offers up an insincere prayer, destroying angels pursue after it, as saith the scripture: "All her persecutors have overtaken her" (Lam. i. 3), therefore we pray that "He being full of compassion, forgiveth our sins and destroys us not utterly" (Ps. lxxviii. 38).