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Said Rabbi Hiya: It is written, 'The wicked are like the troubled sea' (nigrash) (Is. LVII. 20). Is there then a troubled sea? Truly so, for when it exceedeth its boundaries, it becomes 'nigrash' and bursting its barriers, as a man intoxicated with wine, rolling and staggering and unable to keep himself erect, and scripture further adds, of the sea when in this troubled state, 'It cannot rest; and its waters cast up mire and dirt,' meaning that whilst it is calm, the mud concealed in its depths remains undisturbed but the moment its surface begins to be ruffled and agitated by tempestuous winds and storms it is ejected, similarly with a man who as long as he is devoted to the service of his Lord, his lower nature or self is calla and peaceful, its animal propensities repressed and restrained, but as soon as his relation with his divine higher self becomes disturbed and broken, like a drunkard, he begins to reel and stagger, and give utterance to the depraved feelings and emotions that have lain dormant within him, and in proportion as he babbles forth his obscure and filthy gibberish, so does his profanity increase, for it is the reflection of his impure animal self that then becomes manifested. Observe the words, 'And they said, go to, let us build us a city and tower whose top shall reach into heaven.' The term "habah" (go to) whenever used in scripture is always found in connection with some thing or project unrealizable by those who conceived it. Their blind impulse to build such a city and tower arose only from a wicked and foolish desire that animated and prompted them to live in open revolt against the Holy One."

Said Rabbi Abba: "They were the subjects of a horrible and demoniacal infatuation in that they impiously wished to abandon the worship of their Lord for that of Satan or the serpent to whom they rendered homage and glory. The words, 'go to, let us build us a city and tower,' have a deeply occult meaning

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and contain a mystery most profound. Remark that when the Postdiluvians arrived at the plain in the land of Shinar (a strange kingdom or domain) and had become acquainted with and accommodated themselves to its natural advantages coming from its proximity to the sea, they said amongst themselves, it will be best for us to settle down and dwell here, for with little trouble and at once we can indulge in those sensual pleasures and delights that are the charm of life, making it worth the living. But why worship heavenward and what advantage will accrue to us in so doing. Here let us build us a temple and make a deity of ourselves. Come and let us make a shem (name, a synonym for God, or a Divine Being) whom we can adore and have him always in our midst as a center of attraction, and thus avoid becoming dispersed abroad on the face of the earth."

Next: Chapter LXIX. A Comparison Between Noah and Moses