REMARK what is said of Solomon, 'And if he act unjustly I will chastise him with the rod of men and with47b-48a the stripes of the children of men.' (II Sam. vii. 3). What mean the stripes of the children of men? They are the elementals or demons. Furthermore, at the time of the creation of the world and when the sabbath appeared, there were spiritual beings who had not as yet become incarnated in a body. They emanated from the left side and had nothing in common with those that came forth from the right side of the sephirotic tree of life, as they were the residuum of created beings and so are incomplete and undeveloped creatures with out the impress of the divine name before which they quake and tremble and flee away. It should be remembered that every man is incomplete who does not beget and leave a son behind him in the world, and is not impressed with the divine signature of the Holy Name and does not ascend into the vestibule of paradise. Like a tree uprooted and that must be replanted in order to grow and bear fruit, so must he become reincarnated in order to bear the complete Holy Name which is never impressed on anything that is imperfect. Observe also, of these unembodied beings some are in the world above and some in the nether world, and because they are unincarnated they can never accord either with angels or human beings.
"If it be asked, how is it that those above are imperfect seeing they are all pure spirits? the reply is, whether above or below, they are only partially developed owing to their derivation from the left side of the tree of life. Though invisible to man, yet are they continually around and about him for his hurt. They have three things in common with angels and three in common with human beings, as stated before. After the creation
and apparition of these imperfect elementals, they remained hidden48a and concealed in abysmal darkness during the evening and morning of the sabbath, and when it ended they came forth and entered into the world and are now to be found everywhere. In order that mankind might be protected from the assaults of these spirits of the left side, Gehenna with its fire and flame was created. These elemental beings ardently desire to become incarnated, but are unable to do so. We ought therefore to take care and guard and protect ourselves from their influence by use of the prayer in the liturgy for the warding off their afflictions.
"Observe that the canopy of peace was extended over the world as soon as the holy sabbath commenced. What is the canopy of peace? It is the sabbath during which all spirits, demons and elementals, together with foul infernals, go and hide themselves in the great darkness, for when the holiness of the sabbath prevails in the world no unclean spirit is able to endure it and flees from it. Wherefore on the sabbath day there is no necessity for reciting the prayer for protection, 'Blessed be thou, oh Lord, ruler of the universe, who protected thy people Israel . . .' a formula of prayer ordained to be recited during week days because then the world needs protection, but on the sabbath day the canopy of peace is raised and outstretched over the world and thus protected on all sides. Even the wicked in Gehenna are also protected on that day, together with all beings and creatures above and below, and enjoy peace and rest whilst the sabbath lasts. For this reason its holiness is acknowledged in the prayer, 'Blessed be the Lord who covers us, together with all his people Israel and Jerusalem, with the canopy of peace.' But why Jerusalem? Because there it is raised and first pinned up. We ought, therefore, always to pray that it may ever be over us to guard us, as a mother guards and protects her children so that they may live in fear of nothing. Again, at the time when Israel pronounces this benediction and prays for this canopy of peace to rest upon them, the Holy Spirit descends from on high and covers them as a bird its young, with its wings. Then flee and depart all evil spirits out of the world and Israel abides safe under the protection of its Lord. Also it is then that this 'canopy of peace' or the Holy Spirit imparts to each of its children new souls or a new life. Why? Because it is the lord and giver of life which emanates from it."