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The students had assembled and waited for the master to begin his daily discourse and exposition of the secret doctrine. Rabbi Simeon, after a few moments of meditation, prayed and said:

"Oh ye angels on high and ye great teachers of the secret doctrine taught and expounded in the sacred schools above, assemble yourselves and be present to note the words and their esoteric meaning that I am about to make known, and thou, oh Elijah, I conjure by the bond of our brotherhood, and pray thou mayst be allowed to descend and be present whilst I explain the mystery of the great struggle between good and evil in the world, as also of the conflict between light and darkness that has been, and still is, waged from the beginning; and thou Enoch, great angel of the Divine Presence! come thou and be present also, along with the masters of the school over which thou presidest. This I entreat and supplicate not for my own self, but for the honor and glory of the Shekina." Then began Rabbi Simeon his discourse.

"Oh Zarka," he said, "it is indeed through thee that our prayers ascend and reach their destined place on high. As a slinger slings and directs his stones to a certain mark or object, so should we, whilst praying, direct and address our prayers to the Divine in a manner of which thou art the symbol. Therefore the teachings of our forefathers instruct us that all our desires should be expressed before the pronunciation and utterance of the divine name, and by standing up cause them to ascend on high. Prayer should be direct and uninterrupted by anything

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whatever, even though it be a serpent entwining itself about our lower limbs, and always addressed to the Infinite One as we have been taught. At the repeating of 'Blessed be thou, oh Lord,' every knee should be bowed, and never by word or act of inattention should the union between himself and the Divine Being be disrupted. The union of the Shekina with its heavenly spouse is sometimes effected by passing through six degrees of the lower limbs of the sephirotic tree. It is for this reason that during prayer, the knees should be bowed and the six joints of each of the legs may be emblematic of this union, which is sometimes effected by passing through six degrees of the arms of the sephirotic tree. Occasionally, the Shekina ascends on high between the father and the mother symbolized by the letters yod and he. When it ascends it attains to the highest position, so that, losing sight of it, the angels themselves ask, "Where is the place of its glory?" When it rises above aleph, it forms and becomes a crown, which is called kether (crown). When, however, the Shekina descends below, it takes the form of a vowel beneath aleph, and then is called nekudah (point), as the crown above is called taga in the esoteric science of the accents. When this taga becomes joined to the Shekina,24a-24b the letter zain is formed, a symbol of the union denoted by the seventh shephira, and in its form an emblem of the foundation stone of the universe. This is why it is written; "Thou shalt have a perfect and just stone" (Deuter. xxv. 15). There is no musical accent which has not its corresponding vowel point,--thus segoltha coincides with segol, the accent zakeph with seheva. Those who are acquainted with the esoteric meaning of the accents will easily find the correspondents of all the others, such as athnach, munach, etc.

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