Monday, 14 April 2008


Page 64a

The beginning of the following matter is already discussed on page 59b. It once happened that the world was in need of rain. Rabbi Yissa, Rabbi Chizkiya and other friends came before Rabbi Shimon. They found him walking together with his son Elazar as they were going to Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair [Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s father-in-law.] Along the way they were innovating new Torah novallae. Also, in the home of Rabbi Pinchas at the meal, they were innovating many secrets of Torah. And so too afterwards along their way back from Rabbi Pinchas, until the events below came out.

And this, that he said, until they were going, they sat in a field and prayed, there came down one cloud of fire and enveloped them. Rabbi Shimon said to his friends, “Behold, I see that there is Divine favor over here,” since there is the dwelling of the Divine Presence. Therefore, let us sit here and study.” They sat and spoke words of Torah.

The explanation of the verse below, “[Like] cold waters upon a weary soul” is [as follows:] like cold waters that are made to restore a weary soul, “So is good news from a distance land,” so too is the soul restored when good news is reported [heard and comes] from a far away place. (Proverbs 25:25 and Rashi.)

Rabbi Shimon opened and said – explaining what is written – “‘[Like] cold waters upon a weary soul, so is good news from a distance land.’ (Proverbs 25:25). Behold, I contemplated the words of King Solomon, and I saw that all of them, he said with wisdom.”

(This means to say that since they are from CHaBaD of Nukva as will be described further, nevertheless, *all* of them were from the side of wisdom (Chochma.) As it is written ‘And the wisdom of Solomon increased,’ (I Kings 5:10). For the intention of the writing of the three books [i.e. Proverbs, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes,] was in order to repair the Malchus [Kingship] which is the secret of Chochma Tata’a [Lower Wisdom.])

Come and see, King Solomon brought out three books of wisdom into the world, and all of them he did through Chochma Ila’a [Higher Wisdom.] This emanated from the attribute of Solomon’s wisdom. Nevertheless, they are three sections i.e. Song of Songs connected to the attribute of Chochma [Wisdom], Ecclesiastes connected to the attribute of Tevuna [Understanding], and Proverbs connected to the attribute of Da’as [Knowledge.] (This means to say they are the secret of CHaBaD of Nukva that stands opposite CHaGaT of Z”A [Zeir Anpin].)

Corresponding to these three attributes Chochma, Tevuna and Da’as, Solomon wrote three books. And it is explained that Song of Songs corresponds to Chochma, such is it, since it is filled with wisdom and secrets of the Torah, since all of his words are parables from the inner aspect of Chochma, and they are words of the love of the Holy One Blessed be He towards the Congregation of Israel [the Jewish people.] And love is from the side of Chochma which is the right side [as it appears on the tree of the Sefirot.] Ecclesiastes corresponds to Tevuna, such is it, since it is filled with words of reproof and provocation, and words of conquest to people that go after the acquisitions of the world, that he should contemplate in his understanding how from the side of intellect, a person needs to separate himself from the pleasures of the world, and to strengthen himself over the [evil] inclination. But that, that you say that Proverbs corresponds to Da’as, how can we see it – that it corresponds to Da’as?

And he answered, but all these verses of Proverbs are in two ways, since the majority of the verses of Proverbs are divided into two sections. Half speak about the Tzaddik [righteous person,] and half speak about the Rasha [wicked person] and the sinner, and in this way all his concerns. Half are insult and half are praise. Rather, the first half is praise, and the second, insult, and often the opposite, that means the beginning and the end of every verse look like two matters. (Half the verse teaches – corresponds to Chessed D’Da’as [the Kindness aspect of Knowledge], and half corresponds to HaGevurah D’Da’as [the Strength and restraining aspect of Knowledge.])

But, when one contemplates the verses, we see that the one is included in the other. This means to say the first half is included in the second half, and likewise the second half in the first. Since it is that the first half of the verse speaks about praise, and from the positive one can infer the negative, and likewise, the second half of the verse speaks of insult. From the consequence of the negative one can infer the positive, (and this is similar to the matter of the CHoG [Chessed and Gevurah] of Da’as [the aspect of Kindness and Strength of Knowledge] that are included one within the other.) Therefore the book of Proverbs corresponds to Da’as which includes both of them – from Kindness and Strength.

And Rabbi Shimon said, “But, this verse of ‘Cold waters upon a weary soul is like good news from a distant land’ – its beginning is not similar to its end, and its end to its beginning. It appears like two separate things. And when I contemplated upon it, I understood that everything is included in everything. Whether one explains it from its end to its beginning, or from its beginning to its end, since it is written ‘Good news from a distant land’ is similar to ‘Cold waters upon a weary soul.” Likewise, ‘Cold waters upon a weary soul’ are considered to a person like ‘Good news from a distant land,’ since both of them bring to a person a sense of Nachas Ruach [tremendous satisfaction, contentment, pleasure and relief.] Just as this one is Nachas Ruach, so too is this one Nachas Ruach.

While they, Rabbi Shimon and his friends, where sitting in the field, a person came and said to the group that the wife of Rabbi Shimon was healed from her sickness. And he also said that the group heard a Bas Kol [voice from heaven saying that] the Holy One Blessed be He forgave the sins of the generation, since the wife of Rabbi Shimon had protected the generation for punishments for their sins, through her sickness, and now that the Holy One Blessed be He forgave the generation, immediately she was healed from her sickness. Said Rabbi Shimon to his friends, “Behold there is fulfilled this verse ‘And good news from a distant land,’ so is good news Nachas Ruach, like ‘Cold waters upon a weary soul.’” He said to them, “Let us get up and go, because the Holy One Blessed be He is doing miracles for us!”


Bold print: Original Zohar

Ordinary text: Matok Midvash

[Square brackets italics]: Eliyahu ben Pinchas

(Round brackets): Either the source being quoted e.g. Proverbs etc., or alternatively used to quote the kabbalistic language as discussed in Matok Midvash. The Matok Midvash formats the Nigleh side of things in an ordinary print, and the Nistar terminology in Rashi script. I’ve therefore put the Rashi script – the Nistar terminology in round brackets.

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