Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous 


As Rabbi Abba returned homewards, the guests along with the host accompanied him three leagues on his way.

Said they unto him: "Truly our host has been blessed by the good deed he has done."

Then said Rabbi Abba: "What may that good deed be?"

Then replied the host: "She whom I took for my spouse was the wife of my brother who died childless, and in obedience to the injunction of the law I married her and the child of our union I have named after my deceased brother."

Said Rabbi Abba: "Henceforth from this day let him be called Ydi. The boy grew up to manhood and became afterwards famed for his learning and known as Doctor Ydi, the son of Jacob."

In bidding adieu to the hosts and guests, Rabbi Abba gave them all his benediction and then proceeded on his way homewards. On his arrival, he gave an account of all he had heard and learned to Rabbi Eleazar, who hesitated and

p. 394

feared to inform his father of what had occurred at this feast of circumcision.96b

One day Rabbi Abba was sitting in The presence of Rabbi Simon, who asked him the question: "What is the meaning of the words, "And Abraham fell on his face and God talked with him, saying: 'As for me, my covenant is with thee'? From these words we learn that whilst Abraham was uncircumcised it was incumbent he should bow his face earthwards. Only after he had entered into the covenant and performed the rite attached to it, was he able to stand erect without a feeling of fear or dread. The words, 'my covenant will I make with thee' refer to the time when it was completed."

Then said Rabbi Abba: "With the permission of my master, I will relate to him the many excellent discourses and wonderful things I have heard and witnessed."

Said Rabbi Simon: "Speak on:"

Then Rabbi Abba spake and said: "I am greatly afraid that I have caused others to suffer."

"God forbid that it should be so!" exclaimed Rabbi Simeon, "for it is written, 'He shall not be afraid of evil tidings' (Ps. CXII. 7).

Then related Rabbi Abba to him all that had been said and witnessed during the feast of circumcision.

After a few moments' reflection, Rabbi Simeon said: "How is it that having listened to such excellent discourses, thou hast not mentioned them, but kept them to thyself? For so doing, thou shalt not for thirty days experience and find profit nor benefit in thy hours of meditation on what thou hast learned and witnessed. Is it not written, 'Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thy hand to do it'?" (Prov. III. 27). This was the injunction Rabbi Abba had to endure. Moreover, Rabbi Simeon said: "I order that what thou hast learned and witnessed be made known to the student novitiates at Babylon, so that they may not act as thou hast acted, in keeping good things to thyself, and speaking on occult subjects that should never be divulged or imparted to any save to students of the Secret Doctrine."

p. 395

Rabbi Simeon was greatly distressed and pained because thou hast revealed occult teachings.96b

"That is true which thou sayest," replied Rabbi Abba, "I grieve and fear lest the students at Babylon may be tempted by my example, and act imprudently as I have done."

Said Rabbi Simeon: "God forbid they should suffer for divulging the mysteries of the secret doctrine, which should always be jealously guarded and kept secret by novitiates, and never be subjects of discourse save amongst ourselves. This the Holy One furnish them to do, and therefore it is, only amongst ourselves they should be made known and taught."

Said Rabbi Jose: "It is written, 'Then shall thy light break forth as the morning' (Is. LVIII. 8). The time will come when the Holy One shall say to every human soul, 'Thy light shall break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of the Lord be round about thee.'"



Peace to all beings.