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Said Rabbi Eleazar: "It is written, 'But with thee will I establish my covenant' (Gen. vi. 18): as the continuity of the

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covenant or good law on earth is the same as in the higher spheres, we infer from these words that when men become just and upright in this world they contribute to the stability of the good law in both worlds.

Said Rabbi Simeon: "The words just cited have an occult meaning. The love of the male for the female is based upon jealous desire. Observe, when there is a just man in the world, or one whose higher and lower self have become harmonized and66b unified, the divine spirit or Shekinah is ever with him and abides in him, causing a feeling of affectionate attachment towards the Holy One to arise similar to that between the male and female. Therefore the words, 'I will establish my covenant with thee' may be rendered thus, 'Because of the union between thy higher and lower natures giving rise to a yet diviner life, I will abide with thee forever. I will never leave nor forsake thee. Come thou therefore into the ark into which no one unless he is just can enter.'"

Said Rabbi Eleazar: "As long as this covenant or union remains intact and undisturbed between himself and the Holy One, nothing can injure or afflict him. It was so with Noah who keeping the covenant was preserved along with his children, whilst the wickedness of the antediluvians caused them to perish from off the face of the earth."

Rabbi Jehuda whilst on a visit to Rabbi Simeon entered into a discussion with him as to the meaning of the words 'And Elijah repaired (vayerape) the altar of the Lord that was broken down' (I Kings xviii. 30). "What," said he, "is the occult meaning of this word vayerape, which literally signifies to heal."

In answer to this Rabbi Simeon remarked: "Note that in the days of the prophet Elijah all Israel had forsaken the worship of the Holy One and transgressed against his covenant made with their forefathers, to such an extent that it had become altogether forgotten and sunk into oblivion. Seeing and recognizing this, Elijah brought it back to their remembrance and thus restored it and made known again to them the everlasting covenant, and therefore it is written, 'And Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob;' implying by this that it was by the occult virtue of the number twelve that the altar of the Lord was erected as aforetime; and then we read further, 'Unto whom the word of the Lord came saying, "Israel shall be thy name."' Why is this name of Israel here mentioned? Truly because when Israel attaches itself

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and adheres to the good law, it is so called; but when they forsake it, they are termed the children of Israel, or sons of Jacob. This is therefore why the word vayerape is written, because Elijah causes the covenant to become a subject of faith with the children of Israel and thus healed the breach between them and the Holy One and restored love and affection between them. Observe further that Phinehas, filled with zeal, inflicted punishment on Zimri and thus helped to reestablish the covenant, and so it is written of him, 'Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace' (Num. xxv. 12). Now it is certain that Phinehas had in no way violated the covenant and needed not this gift. The real meaning is that he prevented it from becoming regarded as obsolete, a thing of no avail and therefore not worth consideration. For so doing he secured the blessing of the 'Covenant of Peace' the occult signification of which is, the mysterious Word, the Mediator between the two worlds, the celestial and terrestrial, and so it is added, 'And he shall have it and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God and made an atonement for the children of Israel.'" (Num. xxv. 13.)

Said Rabbi Simeon: "There is no greater transgression in the sight of the Holy One than the breaking of the covenant, as it is written, 'and I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the breaking of my covenant.'"66b-67a (Lev. xxvi. 25.) Note that the sin of the antediluvians reached its climax by the practice of self pollution, so that the earth itself became corrupted and defiled thereby (va thishaheth) before God, and for this reason he said, 'I will destroy them with the earth (mashitham).' There are, however, some who affirm that the measure of their iniquity became full when ignoring all moral right and justice; and might with them becoming right they broke the laws of heaven and earth, of God and humanity, and reaped their karma, the executors of which never fail to avenge the wrongdoing of those who infringe the Good Law."

Next: Chapter LV. Various Kabbalistic Expositions of Biblical Texts