Rabbi Jose and Rabbi Hiya whilst going together on a journey began conversing on the secret doctrine. The chief subject of their discourse were the words, "For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee and to give up thine enemies before thee, therefore shall thy camp be holy that he see no unclean thing in thee and turn away
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from thee" (Deuter. XXIII. 10).Deut. 23:14 Why is the word mithalekh (walketh) here used instead of 'mihalekh'?
Said Rabbi Jose: "These words have the same signification as 'And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking (mithhalekh) in the garden in the cool of the day' (Gen. III. 8). In them is expressed the mystery of the tree of whose fruit Adam ate. 'Mithhalekh' denotes the female and 'mihalekh' the male. It was the same divine Being which marched or walked before the children of Israel whilst travelling through the wilderness; as it is written, 'And the Lord went before them by day . . .' (Ex. XIII. 21), and is the same divine Schekina that walketh before a man when he goeth forth, as scripture states, 'The Just One shall go before him and shall set him in the way of his steps' (Ps. LXXXV. 13) in order to deliver him from all peril and from all his enemies. That this may be so, it is essential that a man keep himself pure and his camp holy; by which is implied bodily purity, as through it, his body, he is influenced and tempted by the world and the Evil One. It is further added, 'that there be no unclean thing (ervath dabar) in thee'; which, literally translated, signifies foul words and obscene language. By this expression scripture teaches us that not only should we preserve our bodies pure, but also see to it that our words and speech be clean and free from obscenity, which, of all things, is an abomination to the Holy One. And therefore scripture warns us, 'lest he turn away from thee,' for the Schekina abides not with a man of unclean lips."
Ere ceasing to speak, Rabbi Jose said: "Since we are journeying together, let our discourse be on subjects relative to the secret doctrine so that the Holy Spirit of truth may be and abide with us."
Said Rabbi Hiya: "It is written, 'And the Lord said, behold! the people is one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do--and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do!' Previous to these words it is said, 'And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east' (miqqedem); meaning their defection from the worship and service of the Premier of the world, 'they found a plain or valley in the land of Shinar.' Wherefore is the term 'found' here used instead of 'they came to'? The esoteric explanation is, they found the Book of Hidden Wisdom that had once been in the possession of the Antediluvians,
and by a prolonged study had acquired a thorough knowledge76b of its many and deep mysteries, so that they became emboldened to rise in revolt against the Holy One, imagining that by the pronunciation of certain mystic and occult sounds, words and verses, success would attend them and crown their mad enterprise. But note what is written, 'The people are one and they have all one language; that is, they were one in mind and thought and spoke one, the holy, language. Perceiving this, the Lord knew well that nothing could hinder or prevent them from realising their object, except by confounding their speech and thus rendering them insensible to the vibrating tones of mystic words and phrases they had learned from the Book of Adam. And so they became disunited and scattered over the face of the earth. Had this not occurred their union of will and purpose, together with the knowledge they had acquired of manipulating the occult forces of nature, would have empowered them to achieve and accomplish their bold project, as it is written 'Nothing would have restrained them from doing what they imagined to do'. Had they been obedient and made themselves amenable to the good law, and applied their knowledge for the development of the divine life within them and the subjugation of their lower natures, the history of mankind instead of being a record of moral retrogression and spiritual declension, would have been a chronicle of progress and ascension in the path of light that is now only to be found through suffering and crucifixion of self. The world, instead of being as at present, an Inferno, would long ago have become an Elysium. Its children would have become all sons of light, living together in unity, with one faith, one hope, one God, the Father of light, the All and in All, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning or change."
Said Rabbi Jose: "From the account of these builders of Babel, we conclude that union is strength, for as long as they were of one heart and mind, not even divine justice could have prevented them from accomplishing their purpose, and which was only frustrated because, as it is written, 'And the Lord scattered them upon the face of the earth.'"
Said Rabbi Hiya: "From this account of Babel and its builders we also learn something of the great power and might of words or speech, that on the external manifestations of thought and mind, without which there could have been no
creation; for, as it is written, 'by the word of the Lord, the heavens were made.' The science of words and sounds since the dispersion of mankind is a lost science, but not irretrievably so. In the ages to come it will be recovered, and heaven and earth, men and angels joined in unity and living in harmony, nations, kindreds and tribes of man now scattered abroad throughout the world, will again be one people and have all one language and the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. The holy language, lost and forgotten, will be spoken again in all its purity, and the prophecy in scripture become realised. 'For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent' (Zeph. III. 9) 'And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name76b One' (Zech. XIV. 9). Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and ever. Amen."End of Parsha Noah