HADRA ZVTA QDIShA
(HA IDRA ZUTA
THE LESSER HOLY
CONTAINETH THE INTRODUCTION.
1. TRADITION.--On that day on which the
Companions were assembled together in the house of Rabbi Schimeon, and on
which he had arranged his affairs because he was about to depart from the
world, before him were Rabbi Eleazar his son, and Rabbi Abba, and the rest of
the Companions; and the house was full.
2. Therefore lifting up his eyes, Rabbi
Schimeon saw that the house was full. And Rabbi Schimeon wept, saying: "The
second time when I was sick, and Rabbi Benchas Ben Yair was in my presence,
and until I had chosen my place, life hath been prolonged unto me even until
3. "When I was restored, fire surrounded (my
habitation) which hitherto hath never ceased, neither did any man enter in
unto me without permission.
4. "But now I see that it is taken away, and
that the house is filled."
5. Whilst they were sitting down, Rabbi
opening his eyes, beheld a certain vision, and
lo! fire surrounded the house!
6. Therefore all (the others) went
forth, and Rabbi Eleazar his son, and Rabbi Abba remained; but the other
Companions sat without.
7. Rabbi Schimeon said unto Rabbi Eleazar his
son: "Go forth, and see whether Rabbi Yitzchaq be present, for whom I have
made myself surety.
8. "And say thou unto him that he dispose his
affairs, and that he may sit down with me. Blessed is his portion."
9. Rabbi Schimeon arose and again sat down; and
he laughed aloud, and rejoicing, said: "Where are the Companions?"
10. Rabbi Eleazar arose and introduced them,
and they sat down in his presence.
11. Rabbi Schimeon lifted up his hands and
prayed a prayer, and was joyful.
12. And he said: "Let those Companions
who were in the former Conclave 1
13. Therefore, all the others having gone
forth, there remained Rabbi Eleazar his son, and Rabbi Abba, and Rabbi Yehudah,
and Rabbi Yosi Bar Yoqeb, and Rabbi Chiya.
14. In the meantime Rabbi Yitzchaq entered, to
whom Rabbi Schimeon said: "How excellent is thy lot! How much joy is this day
stored up for thee!"
15. Rabbi Abba sat down behind his (i.e.,
Rabbi Schimeon's) back, and Rabbi Eleazar before him (i.e., Rabbi
16. Rabbi Schimeon spake and said: "Surely now
is the time of benevolence, and I desire to enter without confusion into the
world to come.
17. "And verily these sacred things, which
hereunto have never been revealed, I desire to reveal before the Schekhinah;
18. "Lest they should say that I have kept back
anything, and that I have been taken away from the world; for even until now
these things have been concealed in my heart, so that having entered into
these very matters I may be with them in the world to come.
19. "But this is my arrangement of you; let
Rabbi Abba write, and let Rabbi Eleazar my son speak openly; but let the rest
of the Companions in silence meditate in their heart."
20. Rabbi Abba arose from his seat behind him,
and Rabbi Eleazar his son sat down.
21. He said unto him, "Arise, O my son, for
another shall sit in that seat;" and Rabbi Eleazar arose.
22. Rabbi Schimeon covered himself and sat
down; and he commenced, and said Ps. cxv. 17: "'The dead shall not praise IH,
Yah, nor all they who go down into silence!
23. "'The dead shall not praise Yah; 'so it is
certain that it is assuredly those who are called dead; for He, God, the most
Holy One--may He be blessed!--is called the Living One, and is Himself
commemorated among those who are called living, and not with those who are
24. "And the end of this text runneth thus:
'Nor all they who go down into silence;' for all they who go down into silence
remain in Gehenna.
25. "There is another reason appertaining to
those who are called living, for God the must Holy One--may He be blessed!--desireth
26. Rabbi Schimeon said: "How different is this
occasion from that of the former conclave! For into a certain conclave 1
came He, the most Holy and Blessed God, and His Chariot.
27. "Now verily He, the Holy One, is here--may
be blessed--and He hath approached with those
just who are in the Garden of Eden, 1 which did
not occur in the former conclave.
28. "And God, the Most Holy One--may He be
blessed--more promoteth the glory of the just than His own glory.
29. "As it is written concerning Jeroboam, who
sacrificed unto and served other gods, and yet God, the Most Holy One--may He
be blessed!--waited for him.
30. "But because he stretched forth his hand
against Iddo the prophet, his hand became withered.
31. "For it is written, 1 Kings xiii. 4: 'And
his hand became withered, &c. Here it is not written that it was because he
served other gods, but because he extended his hand against Iddo the prophet,
32. "Now, therefore, God the Most Holy One--may
He be blessed!--promoteth their glory (i.e., that of the just), and
they all come with Him,"
33. He said. "Verily, Rav Hamenuna the elder is
here, and around him are seventy just represented in his circle, of whom
certain shine with the splendour of the Ancient and Most Holy One, the
Concealed with all Concealments.
33. 2 He, I say,
cometh, in order that with joy he may hear those words which I shall speak."
34. And when he had sat down be said:
"Assuredly here a seat hath been set aside for Rabbi Benchas Ben Yair."
35. The companions who were there trembled
greatly, and they arose, and sat down in the lower part of the house; but
Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Abba (still sat) before Rabbi Schimeon.
36. Rabbi Schimeon said: "In the former
Assembly we acted thus, namely, that all the companions spoke, and I also with
them, by turns.
37. "Now I shall speak alone, and let all hear
my words superiors and inferiors; blessed be my portion this day!"
38. Rabbi Schimeon commenced, and said, Cant.
vii. 10: "'I am my beloved's, and his desire is towards me.'
39. "As long as I have been bound unto this
world in one link with God, the Most Holy One--may he be blessed!--have I been
bound, and therefore now is His desire towards me.
40. "For He Himself and His whole holy company
come, so that with joy they may hear the concealed words, and the praise of
Him, the Most Holy Ancient One, the Concealed with all Concealments.
41. "And He separateth Himself ever more and
more; He is separated from all things, neither yet doth He altogether separate
Himself, seeing that unto Himself all things adhere, and that He Himself
adhereth unto all; HVA, Hoa, He Himself is all; He the Most Holy
Ancient of all Ancients, the Concealed with all Concealments.
42. "He hath been formed, and yet as it were He
hath not been formed. He hath been conformed, so that He may sustain all
things; yet is He not formed, seeing that He is not discovered.
43. "When He is conformed He produceth nine
Lights, which shine forth from Him, from His conformation.
44. "And from Himself those Lights shine forth,
and they emit flames, and they rush forth and are extended on every side, like
as from an elevated lantern the rays of. light stream down on every side.
45. "And those rays of light, 1
which are extended, when anyone draweth near unto them, so that they may be
examined, are not found, and there is only the lantern alone.
46. "So also is He the Most Holy and Ancient
One: He is that highest Light concealed with all concealments,
and He is not found; those rays 1
(proceeding from Him) being excepted, which are extended, which are
revealed, and which are hidden.
47. "And they are called the Holy Name, and
therefore are all things One.
48. "Which truly our companions have said in
former books, that certain paths have been created by the Most Holy Ancient
One, who is revealed through them collectively and severally; since they are
the conformations of the Most Holy Ancient One, concerning them now there is
not time for examination.
49" I have spoken concerning them in the Holy
Assembly, and I have beheld that which before I did not understand in such a
manner, and I have hidden the matter in my heart.
50. "But now I alone will describe these things
before the Holy King, and all those assuredly just men who have assembled to
hear these words."
is, who had formed part of the Greater Holy Assembly.
Meaning that the Greater Holy Assembly had been as it were the reflection of
the conclave of the Sephiroth above. The word used for "chariot" is not
Mercavah, but Rethikh.
I.e., The Paradise above.
262:2 In the
original both this and the foregoing section, apparently by an oversight, have
the number 33 attached to them.
Carrying on the simile of the lantern and its rays.
Chapter II: Concerning the Skull of the Ancient One...His Brain...Three