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p. 388 95b


WHAT is truly so, but what tradition teaches us respecting this, is, when the yod (I) is united with teeth (H) they form a celestial river, as it is written, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden.'Gen 2:10 Let no one, however, object and say, 'when they are united,' as though it was something impossible and absurd; for they most certainly become so, and after this manner scripture uses the expression 'ben horin,' and such also is the meaning of the words, 'blessed the land whose king is a "ben horin," and whose princes eat in due season (with delight and thankfulness).' The preceding verse runs thus, 'Woe to the land whose king is a child,' referred to the world below, for we learn by tradition that all lands inhabited by idolatrous nations and people are under the rule of great chiefs who themselves are governed and controlled by one to whom scripture refers, as saying, 'I was a child, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken' (Ps. XXXVII. 25). These are the words of the prince of this world, who terms himself a child (naar). 'Woe unto the world when it is sustained and ruled by him. When Israel is in captivity and exile, then is he as one who derives his food and nourishment from a foreign land not his own.' 'Whose princes eat in due season' for they eat only in the morning and evening, when tradition informs us judgment prevails in the world, at the rising and setting of the sun, by whose worship gentile idolators offend and excite the anger of the Holy One. The evils and afflictions that befall the world are therefore owing to the prevalent sway and rule over the earth of the evil one, who is here termed a child (naar). Blessed are all ye that are present on this occasion, for ye are fellow citizens with the saints and children of the Holy King and are nourished not with worldly food, but with the bread of heaven; and of you it is written,

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[paragraph continues] 'ye are all joined unto the Lord and are found alive unto this day'." (Deuter. IV. 4.)

Then spake and said Rabbi Abba, at the close of the ceremony: "It is written, 'now will I sing to my well beloved, a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill (qeren ben shamen) and he fenced it and gathered out the stones thereof and planted it with the choicest vines' (Is. V. 1). These words have a deeply esoteric meaning and therefore demand most thoughtful consideration on account of the difficulties95b-96a arising in the exposition of them. The first is why is the word song (sherath) here found instead of the term (reproof). Why also is it said, 'to my well beloved,' (lebidi) instead of 'to my friend?' Again, what is the meaning of the expression 'my well beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill' or, as it should be rendered, a vineyard in Qeren ben Shamen? We have studied long the secret doctrine and have failed to find any mention of a place or locality so called.

"Many and various excellent explanations have been given by esoteric students who have interpreted this verse, as follows: 'I will sing to my well beloved,' refer to the patriarch Isaac, called and known as "well beloved" before his entry into earth life, because he was greatly beloved by the Holy One and was not born until after Abraham had entered into the divine covenant and attained to that degree of initiation in divine life and science symbolized by the letter A, indicative of full adeptship. This degree was also imparted to Sarah, and is typified by this letter being added to her name and that of Abram. The addition of this letter may be further elucidated and explained thus: A is the symbol of the female principle; this being so, it may be asked, why was it added to the name of Abram instead of the letter Yod (I), the symbol of the male principle. The explanation involves a great mystery. Abraham attained to the highest degree of initiation, symbolized as we have just stated by the first letter in the divine name, I H V H, that has its polarity in the last or lower letter (H). The first being symbol of the male, the last, of the female. It is written, 'and he said unto them,' 'so (Coh) shall thy seed be,' referring to the

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multiplication of his posterity who should attain to the same96a degree of divine life and science as himself. Hence it is that every gentile that enters into the Covenant is called ger zedek (a true proselyte) and becomes a son or child of Abraham. Therefore, said God unto him, 'so shall thy seed be,' or in other words, all gentiles who enter into the Covenant shall be of thee and called by thy name.

"This, then, was why the letter H was added to the name ' Abram. Had Sarah only attained this H or degree, the posterity of Abram would then have been only children of the lower degree of divine life and knowledge or merely proselytes, here designated by the name of Coh. Owing, however, to the addition of the higher H symbolizing the divine life, to Abram, and the lower H to the name of Sara, it became possible to engender and bring forth offspring who would be able to attain to the same degree of initiation in divine life as their ancestors, Abraham and Sarah. The union of the two H's produced the yod or I, the first letter in the name of Isaac (yitzchak) emblem of the male principle, which from the time of his birth, began to increase upon the earth; that is to say, from the time of the birth of Isaac, men began to be born and come into the world who lived the higher and diviner life, and therefore it is written, 'for in Isaac shall thy seed be called' (Gen. XXI. 12). Isaac in his turn begat offspring susceptible of attaining to the life symbolized by the higher H, as it is written, 'thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob' (Mich. VII. 20), and Jacob was the highest manifestation of what it does and can accomplish in man, If, however, it be objected: was not this exhibited more so in the life of Abraham than on any of his posterity, as it is stated of him, 'thou gayest grace to Abraham?' (Micha-ibid); in reply we say that Abraham exercised mercy to men. It was, however, Isaac who contributed most to the sanctification of humanity, for Abraham was far advanced in life, being ninety and nine years old when he entered into covenant with the Holy One, the mystical meaning of which is known to and understood by students of the secret doctrine and its occult teachings.

Next: Chapter C