HADRA RBA QDIShA
(HA IDRA RABBA
THE INGRESS AND
1. TRADITION.--Rabbi Schimeon spake unto his
companions, and said: "How long shall we abide in the condition of one column
by itself? when it is written, Psa. cxix. 126: 'It is time for Thee, Lord, to
lay to Thine hand, for they have destroyed Thy law.'
2. "The days are few, and the creditor is
urgent; the herald crieth aloud daily, and the reapers of the land are few;
and those who are about the end of the vineyard attend not, and have not known
where may be the lawful place. (That is, do not study holiness, which is
called the vineyard.)
3. "Assemble yourselves, O my companions, in an
open space, equipped with armour and spears; be ye ready in your preparations,
in council, in wisdom, in understanding, in science, in care, with hands and
with feet! Appoint as King over you, Him in whose power is life and death: so
that the words of truth may be received: things unto
which the supernal holy ones attend, and
rejoice to hear and to know them."
4. Rabbi Schimeon sat down and wept; then he
said: "Woe! if I shall reveal it! Woe! if I shall not reveal it!"
5. His companions who were there were silent.
6. Rabbi Abba arose and said unto him: "With
the favour of the Lord, also it is written, Psa. xxv. 14: 'The Arcanum of the
Tetragrammaton is with them that fear Him.' And well do these companions fear
that Holy and Blessed One; and now they have entered into the assembly of the
tabernacle of his house, some of them have only entered, and some of them have
7. Moreover, it is said the companions who were
with Rabbi Schimeon were numbered, and they were found to consist of Rabbi
Eleazer, his son; and Rabbi Abba, and Rabbi Yehuda, and Rabbi Yosi the son of
Jacob, and Rabbi Isaac, and Rabbi Chisqiah the son of Rav, and Rabbi Chiya,
and Rabbi Yosi, and Rabbi Yisa.
8. They gave their hands unto Rabbi Schimeon,
and raised their fingers on high, and entered into a field under the trees and
9. Rabbi Schimeon arose and offered up a
prayer. He sat in the midst of them, and said: "Let whosoever will place his
hand in my bosom." They placed their hands there, and he took them.
10. When he began, he said (from Deut.
xxvii. 15): "Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, the
work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all
the people shall answer and say Amen!"
11. Rabbi Schimeon began, and said: "Time for
Thee, O Tetragrammaton to lay to Thine hand." Why is it time for the
Tetragrammaton to lay to His hand? Because they have perverted Thy law. What
they hath perverted Thy law?' The higher law,
which is itself made void, if it be not carried out according to his commands.
Wherefore is this? (Or, as others read: Wherefore is this name
Tetragrammaton here employed?) This hath been said concerning the Ancient
12. "For it is written, Deut. xxxiii. 29:
'Blessed art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee?' Also it is written, Exod.
xv. 11: 'Who is like unto thee among the gods, O Tetragrammaton?'"
13. He called Rabbi Eleazer, his son, and
commanded him to sit down before him, and Rabbi Abba on the other side, and
said: "We are the type of all things" (that is, "we represent the three
columns of the Sephiroth;") "thus far are the columns established."
14. They kept silence, and they heard a voice;
and their knees knocked one against the other with fear. What was that voice?
The voice of the Higher Assembly, which had assembled above. (For out of
Paradise came the souls of Me just thither, that they might hearken, together
with the Schechinah of the Presence Divine.)
15. Rabbi Schimeon rejoiced, and said. "O
Tetragrammaton! I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid! (Hab. iii. 1). He
hath said: 'It is therefore rightly done, seeing that fear hath followed; but
for us the matter rather dependeth upon love.' Like as it is written,
Deut. vi. 5: 'And thou shalt delight in Tetragrammaton thy God.' Also it is
written, Mal. i. 2: "I have loved you.'"
16. Rabbi Schimeon said further: "'He who
walketh, going up and down (from one house unto another) revealeth the
secret; but the faithful in spirit concealeth the word' (Prov. xi. 13).
17. "'He who walketh going up and down.' This
saying meriteth question, because it is said, 'going up and down.' Wherefore
then I walketh?' The man is already said to be going up and down: what is this
18. "For truly it is true concerning that man
who is not stable in his spirit nor truthful, that the word which he hath
heard is moved hither and thither, like a straw in the water, until it cometh
forth from him.
19. "For what reason?" Because his spirit is
not a firm Spirit.
20. "But concerning him who is firm in spirit
it is written: 'But the faithful in spirit concealeth the word.' (But this
phrase) 'faithful in spirit' denoteth firmness of spirit; like as it is said,
Isa. xxii. 23: 'And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place.' Matter
dependeth upon Spirit.
21. "And it is written, Eccles. v. 6: 'Suffer
not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin.'
22. "For neither doth the world remain
firm, except through secresy. And if in worldly affairs there be so great need
of secresy, how much more in the things of the most secret of secrets, and in
the meditation of the Ancient of Days, 1
which matters are not even revealed unto the highest of the angels."
23. Rabbi Schimeon said, moreover: "I will not
say it unto the heavens, that they may hear; I will not declare it unto the
earth, that it may hear; for certainly we are (the symbols of) the pillars of
24. It is said in the Arcanum of Arcana, that
when Rabbi Schimeon opened his mouth, the whole place was shaken, and his
companions also were shaken.
I.e., one of
the names of Macroprosopus, the first emanation, the crown. Kether. (See
111:2 In the
above verse it is well to note that by Notariqon, the second division of the
literal Qabalah. the initial letters of the first quotation give the word AIMK,
Aimakh, "Thy terror," the addition of the numeration of which by
Gematra, the first division of the Literal Qabalah, is 71; and that in a
similar manner from the second quotation, the word MKBI, Maccabee, is
obtained, whose numeration is 72. Now, 72 is the number of the
Schemhamphorasch, or "divided name," to which Maccabee is always referred. And
if to the 71 Of the first quotation we add A, expressing thus the hidden
unity, we obtain 72 again. Furthermore. It is well to note that each quotation
consists of four words. thus answering to the letters of the Tetragrammaton.--TRANS.
the first Sephira.
Chapter II: Of the Condition of the World and the World of Vacancy