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NOW the Lord said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy76b-77a country and from thy kindred, and from they father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee'." (Gen. XII, 1.)Start of Lekh Lekha, Gen. 12:1-12:27

At a meeting of Rabbi Simeon's students, for meditation on the esoteric meaning of this passage in scripture, Rabbi Abba said: "It is written, 'Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted that are far from righteousness.' (Is. XLVI. 12.) By the phrase 'stout-hearted' is meant those hardened souls who, though acquainted with and having some knowledge of the secret doctrine, yet manifest no inclination nor desire to adapt their lives to its teachings and principles and walk in accordance with the precepts of the good law, and are therefore said to be 'far from righteousness'."

Said Rabbi Hezekiah: "The meaning of these words is, that they are altogether void of the divine life and so do not enjoy inward peace of conscience, as it is written, 'There is no peace unto the wicked.' (Is. XLV III. 22.) Observe, it was Abraham's desire to live the higher life, and to him may he justly applied the words, "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated wickedness, therefore Alhim, thy Alhim, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.' (Ps. XLI. 8.) For this reason it is further written, 'Thou, seed of Abraham, my friend.' (Is. XLI. 8.) Wherefore does the Holy One style Abraham 'my friends?' It was because he loved righteousness, for of all who lived in his day and generation he alone was faithful, upright and obedient to the divine law."

Said Rabbi Jose: "It is written, 'How amiable are thy tabernacles; oh Lord of Hosts.' (Ps. LVIII. 1.)Ps. 84:1 How incumbent upon us it is to study the works of the Holy One, for our knowledge of them is only small and limited. Men know not upon what the world is founded and how it is sustained and upheld. Still less do they know anything of its creation or

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the composition of fire and water that, blending together, become solidified under the action of the Holy Spirit, which,77a-77b when it is withdrawn, they revert back to chaos, and attraction between their individual atoms then ceases, as it is written, 'It is he who shaketh the earth out of her place and the pillars thereof tremble.' (Job IX. 6.) Everything in the universe is founded on and governed by law, and so long as there are students found engaged in its study, so will the world endure. Observe at the hour of midnight when the Holy One enters the garden of Eden on high, to converse with the righteous, all the trees of it rejoice and chant forth praises to the glory of his name, as it is written, 'Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord because he cometh to judge the earth.' (Chron. XVI. 33.) When is heard a great voice from on high saying, 'Who hath ears, let him hear, who hath eyes let him behold, and who hath a heart to understand, let him listen and attend to the words and teachings of the spirits of all spirits respecting the tour quarters of parts of the world.'

1. The One Absolute, above all


The sublime Kether, spirit of all spirits.

2. One is below


The nephesh or soul.

3. One is between two


The ruach between the soul and spirit.

4. Two beget a third


The Neshama.

5. Three become one


The individual

6. One emits rays of color.


Divine light and life.

7. Six on one side and six on the other


The visible and invisible world.

8. Six rise into twelve


The spiritual zodiac in man.

9. Twelve produce twenty-two


twenty-two letters, the signatures of all created things.

10. Six are included in ten



11. Ten are included in One


The ten sephiroth, emanations of the Absolute.

"Woe unto those who sleep, who know not, and do not desire to learn what will happen them when in the presence of the great judge they will have to account for their deeds. When the body is defiled, the soul departing out of it flees

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to the pure atmosphere on high and goes hither and thither,77b but the gates of heaven remain unopened to it. Like chaff by the wind, or a stone from out a sling so it becomes cast about. Woe unto those who care nought for and live indifferent to the joys on high that are the recompense of the just, for they fall into the power of Duma and descend into a hell out of which they will never again come forth. It is of them scripture saith, 'As a cloud that is consumed and vanished away, so is he who goeth down into Sheol. He shall come up no more.' (Job VII. 9.)

"As the voice ceased uttering these words a light flashed forth from the north, illumining the whole world and falling on the wings of the cock caused it to crow at midnight. At that time no one rises from his couch save those lovers of truth whose chief delight is in the study of the secret doctrine. Then the Holy One, surrounded by souls of the just made perfect, in the garden of Eden listens and attends to the voices of truth-seekers, as it is written, 'Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice; cause one to hear'." (Cant. VIII. 13.)

Next: Chapter LXXXI. Interlocutory Explanations