HADRA RBA QDIShA (HA IDRA RABBA QADISHA); OR,
THE GREATER HOLY ASSEMBLY
CHAPTER XVII. CONCERNING THE SIXTH PART OF THE BEARD OF
395. THE hair is arranged in the sixth conformation, and ascendeth from below upwards, and toucheth the circles . of most excellent fragrance, even unto the beginning of the mouth above; and the hair descendeth from the beginning (of the mouth above) unto the beginning of the opening of the mouth below. "Arise thou! Rabbi Yisa, and expound this conformation."
396. Rabbi Yisa arose, and commenced, and said, Is. liv. 10: "'And thy blessing shall not depart from thee!'
397. "Also it is written: 'And in everlasting compassion have I had mercy upon thee.'
398. "Do not these verses contradict one another? They do not. For this is what we have learned: there is given a compassion (of one kind), and again there is given a compassion of another kind. For the one is the interior compassion, and the other is the external compassion.
399. "The interior compassion is that of which we have spoken concerning the Ancient of Days, and that is concealed in this part of the heard, which is called the angle of the beard.
400. "Neither is it advisable for a man to destroy this part (of his beard) because of this interior compassion of the Ancient of Days.
401. "And therefore is it written concerning the inferior priesthood, Lev. xxi. 5: 'They shall not make baldness, upon their head, neither shall they shave off the angle of their beard.'
402. "Wherefore? Lest they should destroy the path of the Mercy of the Ancient One. For also the priesthood is (symbolically) referred unto this path.
403. "Also we have learned in the 'Book of Concealed Mystery' that every work existeth in order that it may procure increase for Mercy, and that it may establish the same; also that this is not to be cut off nor removed from the world.
404. "This is that which is written: "And My Compassion shall not depart from thee.' Namely, the Compassion of the Ancient of Days.
405. "(But when it is said in another text), 'And in mercy, OVLM, Olahm, for ever (this is the sense), the mercy which is called 'mercy for ever' is the second form concerning which it is written, Ps. lxxxix. 2: 'I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever.'
406. "And this compassion of the Ancient of Days is the mercy of truth. And (this phrase) 'mercy of truth' is not said concerning the life of the body, but concerning the life of the soul.
407. "And therefore is it written, Mic. vii. 1:8: 'Since He Himself wisheth Mercy.' This is the sixth conformation of the venerable beard of the Ancient of the Ancient Ones."