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On another occasion Rabbi Simeon spake and said: "It is written, 'I said, I shall not see the Lord even the Lord in the land of the living; I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants65b
Isa. 38:11
of the world' (Ps. xxxviii. 11). How great the number of those who are ignorant and take no interest in the secret doctrine. They expend their strength and energy in the acquisition of worldly knowledge, oblivious altogether of that true wisdom which is both spiritual and divine. When a man departs out of earth life, he has to account for every act and deed committed in it and meets many with whom he has been acquainted and held intercourse in the world. Eventually he beholds Adam seated at the Garden of Eden rejoicing over those who have faithfully observed and kept the divine commandments. Surrounding him are the righteous who were wise and avoided walking in the way that leads down to Gehenna and found the path of light. Such are termed by scripture 'inhabitants of the world' hadel, not haded. The inhabitants of this latter are mouselike in their habits of heaping up riches and know not who shall enjoy them; but the just and upright are termed dwellers

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of hadel, which word signifies to shun and avoid, because they have learned to shun the way to death and found entrance into the Garden of Eden. Another interpretation is this: by 'the inhabitants of the world' (hadel) is signified those who through repentance, ceased to do evil and learned to do well, as did Adam who was afterwards appointed leader into Eden of all repentant souls, and thus termed inhabitants of hadel, and therefore is it written, 'that I may know what I lack (hadel)' (Ps. xxxix. 5), Note the words, 'I shall not see Jah.' 'Who then is able to see him?'65b-66a the other part of the verse explains, 'Jah in the land of the living.' When souls encircled with an aura of light, the result of righteous living, ascend on high to the sphere especially prepared for those who have attained unto the higher life, they are then able to gaze into the Zohar, the luminous mirror, or in other words the beatific vision whose splendor and brightness are reflections from the highest heavenly sphere, since a soul clothed in any other raiment than this light would be unable to behold and endure its intense vibrations. For even as souls in their progress and development on earth life and clothed and girded with an aura, so in the world on high, they become encircled with one brighter and still more luminous, by which they are able to contemplate the transcendent light coming down out of the lightest of the heavenly spheres known as 'the land of the living.' It was this aura of the higher life encircling him that Moses was able to behold what he did, as it is written, 'And Moses went into the midst of the cloud (as it seemed to human vision) and ascended the mount' (Ex. xxiv. 15). That is, he became clothed with an aura of divine light, in order to gaze into the luminous mirror, or beatific vision, similar to that which time just or perfected human beings' on their entrance into the higher heavenly spheres are clothed, of which the aura surrounding them during earth life is only a faint shadow and reflection. We now understand why the word Jah in the verse just cited is found repeated. 'I shall not see Jah in the land of the living,' were uttered by Hezekiah and mean that he feared and had no hope of ever experiencing the joy and delight of gazing upon the splendor of the light emanating from 'the land of the living,' through his dying childless, and therefore he said also, 'I shall not see Adam sitting at the gate of the Garden of Eden on high.' But why should he be afraid of this? because Isaiah the prophet had said unto him, 'Thou shalt die, thou shalt not live,'Is. 38:1 that is, thou shalt not live in the world to come as thou shalt die childless;

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for whoever leaves and quits the world without offspring is not admitted into the garden of the celestial Eden and is therefore altogether precluded from contemplating the glory and splendor of its light. If therefore Hezekiah with all the inherited merits of his forefathers, besides being an upright and just person, feared lest by dying childless, he should fail to attain unto the beatific vision, or enter into 'the land of the living,' so ought he be alarmed who, lacking ancestral merit and virtues,66a transgresses divine laws. The aura surrounding the just and perfected in the world to come who have lived the higher and diviner life is known and designated by initiates of the secret doctrine as 'The Master's Robe.' Happy they who wear it, for it is on their account the Holy One has reserved and put by unnumbered joys in the world to come, as it is written, 'For from the beginning of the world, men have not heard nor perceived by the ears, neither have seen, Oh God beside thee, what thou hast prepared for him that putteth his trust in Thee.'" (Ps. lxiv. 4.)Is. 64:4

Next: Chapter LIII. Remarks on the Destroying Angel and the Antediluvians