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Literal Translation of the Aforecited Text From Aramaic Into English

1. Rabbi Hizkiyah opened, “It is written, as a rose among thorns.” That a rose is the Assembly of Israel. Because there is a rose and there is a rose, just as a rose among thorns is tinged with red and white, the Assembly of Israel consists of judgment and mercy. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, the Assembly of Israel is surrounded on all sides by the thirteen attributes of mercy. However, Elokim, that is here, thought to bring out the thirteen words that surround the Assembly of Israel and guard it.

2. Afterwards, this is mentioned another time. The reason it is mentioned another time is to bring out the five rigid leaves that surround the rose. And these five stand for salvation. These are also the five gates.

It is written of this secret, “I will raise the cup of salvation, it is the cup of blessing.” The cup of blessing must rest on five fingers, and no more, just as a rose rests on five rigid leaves that correspond to the five fingers. And this rose is the cup of blessing. From the second to the third mention of the name Elokim, there are five words. From here on, the Light was created and concealed, enclosed within that covenant, and entered the rose and fructified it. And this is referred to as a fructiferous tree, wherein is the seed thereof. And this seed truly exists in the letter of the covenant.

3. And just as the form of the covenant is sown in forty-two conceptions from that seed, so is the legislative, special name of creation sown.

4. In the beginning, Rabbi Shimon opened, the flower buds appeared on the earth. “The flower buds” refer to the act of creation. They appeared on the earth when, on the third day, as it is said, “And the earth shall pullulate.” That was when they appeared on the earth. The time of singing has come, and this is the fourth day, when there was a reduction from the Light of Hassadim. The voice of the turtle dove refers to the fifth day, where it is written, “Let the waters swarm,” so as to produce offspring. “It is heard” refers to the sixth day, where it is written, “Let us stand and create man,” and there it is said, “We will do and we will hear.” “In our land” refers to the day of Shabbat, which represents the Land of Life.

5. Another meaning is that these flower buds are the Patriarchs who entered the thoughts of the future world, and there they are concealed. They emerged from there in concealment, and concealed themselves in the true prophets. Yosef was born and they concealed themselves in him. When Yosef entered the Holy Land and founded them there, they appeared in the land (earth) and were revealed there. When are they seen? When a rainbow is seen in the world. It is when the rainbow is seen that they are revealed. As the time of pruning has come. The time has come to eradicate the wicked from the world. Why were the wicked saved? Because the flower buds can be seen in the earth. And if they could not be seen, they would not have remained in the world, and the world would not be able to exist.

6. Who animates the world and causes the Fathers to appear? It is the voice of the children, who study the Torah, meaning that these children of the world save the world. In deference to them, “We will make you pendants of gold.” Those are the children, children of the world, as is it said, “You shall make two Cherubs of gold.”

7. In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar opened, “Raise your eyes above and see who has created this.” Raise your eyes. To what place? To the place where all eyes depend on Him. And who is He? He is one who opens eyes. And you will know this. It is the concealed Atik, wherein lies the question, who has created this. And who is He? MI = who. He is called from the edge of Divine Heaven, where everything belongs to Him. As there is a question, He is along a concealed path, and does not reveal Himself. He is called MI, as there is no question Above, this edge of Heaven is called MI.

8. And there is another below, called MA. What is between this and that? The first one, called MI, is concealed. There is a question in him, because man asks, searches and looks, and beholds from degree to degree until the end of all the degrees. And after he arrives there, he is asked: MA?(What?). What have you learned? What have you seen? What have you investigated, since everything is still concealed, just as it was before.

9. It is written of this secret, “Who can I point out to you? Who can I compare you to?” After all, the Temple was destroyed, and a voice came forth and said, “What can I point out to you, and what can I compare you to?” The word MA = what, testimony, each day and the day of testimony to you from the days of past, as it is written: “I call to witness Heaven and earth,” which is like unto you.

According to the same type, “I adorned you with holy ornaments,” made you ruler over the world, as it is written: “Is this the city that was called the quintessence of beauty?” and so forth. I have called you, “Jerusalem, a city built by me.” “What could be compared to you?” Just as you sit, so he is like Above, just as now the holy nation does not enter into you to perform holy work, so I swear to you that I will not enter Above until I dwell down below. This is your consolation, as this degree is equal to you in all things. And now that I am here, “Your misery is great, like the sea.” And if you claim that there is no existence or remedy for you, then MI (who) shall heal you? It shall be precisely that concealed Supernal Degree, which animates all things; it shall heal you, and exist within you.

10. MI is the upper edge of Heaven, MA is the lower edge of Heaven. This was inherited by Yaakov, that he shines from edge to edge, from the first edge, which is MI, until the last edge, which is MA,for he stands in the middle. Therefore, who has created this?

11. Rabbi Shimon said, “Elazar, my son, stop talking and reveal to us the supernal secret, which the people of the world know nothing of.” Rabbi Elazar was silent. Rabbi Shimon wept and said, “One minute.” Rabbi Shimon said, “Elazar, what is ELEH (these)? If you say the stars and the signs of the zodiac, have they not always been seen? However, MA (what) were created, as it is said, by the word of the Creator were the Heavens made. If it is about concealed things, then it is not written ELEH, because they are revealed.

12. But this secret was never revealed, until one day when I was at the seashore, Eliyahu came and told me: “Rabbi, do you know what this is, WHO HAS CREATED THIS?” I told him: “These are the Heavens and their hosts, the works of the Creator, that man can look at them and bless them, as is written, ‘When I behold Your Heavens, the work of Your hands, our Master, how glorious Your name is throughout all the earth’!"

13. He told me: “Rabbi, there was one thing concealed before the Creator, which He revealed to the Supernal Assembly, and it is this. When the concealed of all the concealed desired to reveal Himself, He first made one single point, and this point ascended and became a Thought. With it, He drew all the forms and with it engraved all the images.

14. He engraved inside a concealed, sacred candle an image of a concealed image of the holy of holies. A profound structure emerged from the depth of that thought, and it is called MI – who, which is the inception of the structure both standing and not standing, which is hidden deep inside the name. It is not called, but only MI – who. He desired to reveal Himself and to be called this name, so He clothed Himself in a precious, radiant garment and created ELEH, and ELEH ascended in name. These letters combined with these, and the name Elokim was completed. And until He created ELEH – this, Elokim did not ascend to form the name Elokim. And these sinned in worshipping the golden calf. Of this secret it is said, ELEH is your Lord, Israel.

15. Just as the letters MI joined the letters ELEH, so does this name remain forever united, and on this secret stands the world. Eliyahu then flew away, and I could not see him. It is from him that I knew this, which stands on the secret, and its explanation. Rabbi Elazar has come, and all the disciples, too, and they bowed down before him, wept and said, if we had (not) come into this world but only to hear this secret, it would have been enough.

16. Rabbi Shimon said: “Onto these Heavens and their hosts were created in MA, as it is said, ‘When I behold the Heavens, the works of Your hands,’ and it is said, ‘ MA, how glorious Your name is throughout all the earth, which You set Above the Heavens, it ascends in name.’ That is why it created Light for Light, clothed this into this, and elevated in the Supernal Name, this the Creator created in the beginning. This is the Supernal Creator, for MA is not such and was not created.

3 The translation in the book is semantic and not literal

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