HADRA RBA QDIShA (HA IDRA RABBA QADISHA); OR,
THE GREATER HOLY ASSEMBLY
1131. HEREUNTO are the concealed words, and the more secret meaning (of then; hath been set forth in many Places). Blessed is his portion who hath known and beheld them, and who erreth not therein.
1132. Because these words are not given forth save unto the Lords of Lords and the Reapers of the Field, who have both entered into and departed therefrom. 1133. Like as it is written, Hosea xiv. 9: "For the paths of Tetragrammaton are right, and the just shall walk in them, but transgressors shall fall therein."
1134. This have we learned. Rabbi Schimeon wept, and lifted up his voice and said: "If on account of our words which be here revealed, the Companions are to be concealed in the Conclave of the world to come, and are to be taken away from this world, it is justly and rightly done, in order that they may not reveal (these secrets) unto one of the children of this world."
1135. Again he said: "I return unto myself. For truly I have revealed (these secrets) before the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, the Concealed One with all Concealments; but not for mine own glory, not for the glory of the house of my father, not for the glory of these my Companions, have I done (this thing).
1136. "But in order that they might not err in His paths, nor that they might enter into the portals of His Palace to be made ashamed, nor that they might be destroyed for their error. Blessed be my portion with them in the world to come."
1137. We have learned that before the companions departed from this Assembly, Rabbi Yosi, Rabbi Chizqiah, and Rabbi Yisa died.
1138. And the companions beheld that the holy angels carried them away into that veil expanded above. And Rabbi Schimeon spake a certain word, and fell upon his face.
1139. Rabbi Schimeon cried aloud and said: "Wherefore is this? Because a certain decree hath been decreed against us to punish us, seeing that through us that hath been revealed which had not been revealed hitherto, from that day wherein Moses stood upon the mountain of Sinai.
1140. "Like as it is written, Exod. xxxiv. 28: 'And he was there with Tetragrammaton forty days and forty nights.' Why then do I tarry here, if therefor I am to be punished?"
1141. And a Voice was heard which spake, and said: "Blessed art thou, Rabbi Schimeon, and blessed is thy portion, and that of those companions who are with thee; for unto ye hath that been revealed which is not revealed unto the whole supernal host.
1142. "But come, behold. It is written, Josh. vi. 26: 'And in his first−born son shall he establish it, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates thereof;' much more than in this instance also are these taken away, seeing that with most severe and vehement study have they applied their souls (NPShThHVN, Nepheschethhun) hereunto at this time.
1143. "Blessed is their portion, for assuredly they have been taken away in perfection; and such were not those who were before them."
1144. Wherefore died they? We have learned this. When thus far these words were revealed, the Supernals and Inferiors of those Chariots were disturbed, and the Voice which revealed the Ancient Word below resounded through two hundred and fifty worlds.
1145. And before that those (three Rabbis) could recollect their souls, NShMThIIHV, Nesehamathiyehu, among those words ( of that Voice) their souls had gone forth with a kiss ; and were joined unto that expanded veil, and the Supernal Angels carried them away.
1146. But wherefore those? Because they had entered in, and had not gone forth alternately, before this time.
But all the others had entered in, and had gone forth.
1147. Rabbi Schimeon spake and said: "How blessed is the portion of those three, and therefore also blessed is our portion!"
1148. And a second time that Voice pealed forth and said, Deut. iv. 4: "But ye that did cleave unto Tetragrammaton, your God, are alive every one of you this day."
1149. They arose, and behold there was no place whence a fragrance went not forth.
1150. Rabbi Schimeon spake and said: "From this I perceive that the world receiveth blessing on account of us."
1151. And the faces of them all shone, so that men could not look upon them.
1152. We have learned that there were ten (Rabbis) entered into (the Assembly), and that seven came forth.
1153. And Rabbi Schimeon rejoiced, and Rabbi Abba was sad.
1154. On a certain day Rabbi Schimeon sat, and Rabbi Abba with him. Rabbi Schimeon spake a certain word.
1153. And they saw those three (Rabbis) who had died, and with them were most beautiful angels, who were showing unto them the supernal treasures and conclaves, on account of their great dignity.
1156. And they were entering into a mountain of pure balm; and the soul of Rabbi Abba was comforted.
1157. We have learned that after that day the companions did not quit the house of Rabbi Schimeon.
1158. And when Rabbi Schimeon revealed the Arcana, there were found none present there save those (companions).
1159. And Rabbi Schimeon called them the seven eyes of Tetragrammaton, like as it is written, Zach. iii. 9: "These are the seven eyes of Tetragrammaton." And this was said concerning us.
1160. Rabbi Abba spake and said: "We six are lights which shine forth from a seventh (light); thou art the seventh light (the origin of ) us all.
1161. "For assuredly there is no stability in those six, save (what they derive) from the seventh. For all things depend from the seventh."
1162. Rabbi Yehudah called him the Sabbath of all the six (Rabbi).
1163. Like as it is written: "The Sabbath for Tetragrammaton, holy unto Tetragrammaton."
1164. What is the Sabbath? Holy unto Tetragrammaton; so also Rabbi Schimeon is, like the Sabbath, holy unto Tetragrammaton.
1165. Rabbi Schimeon said: "It is strange that he who is girded about the loins, and clothed with a heavy garment, was not found in the place of our conclave when those holy matters were revealed!"
1166. Meanwhile Elihu entered, and three beams of light shone in his countenance.
1167. Rabbi Schimeon said unto him: "Why was it that he was not present (otherwise, Why was not my lord present) in the sculptured square of his Lord in the nuptial day?"
1168. He answered unto him: "Through thy life, Rabbi, seven were chosen before Him, the Holy One may He be blessed!(otherwise, seven days are prostrate before the blessed God) all those who could come and abide with Him, before that ye could enter into the House of Conclave.
1169. "And I prayed that I might come among the others, and I wished to adhere unto His shoulders (otherwise, And I asked Him, that it might be permitted me to enter in, but He constrained my shoulders), and I could not.
1170. "For in that day was I sent that I might perform miracles for Rav Hamenuna the elder and his companions, who had been taken away into the palace (otherwise: into the prison) of the King.
1171. "And I performed a miracle for them, and cast down the King's rampart (otherwise: I cast down the wall of the royal palace for them), with whose chains they were bound; so that (their) forty−five warders were kept back.
1172. "And I led forth Rav. Hamenuna and his companions, and brought them up unto the valley of Aunu; and they have been set free.
1173. "And I have given unto them bread and water, seeing they had not eaten for three days.
1174. "And all the day I quitted them not.
1175. "And when I returned (hither), I found the Veil expanded which all these Columns upheld; and three of the Companions ( had ascended) above it.
1176. "And I spake unto them, and they answered: 'This is the portion of God the most Holy Onemay He be blessed!from the nuptials of Rabbi Schimeon and his companions.'
1177. "Blessed art thou, Rabbi Schimeon, and blessed is thy portion, and that of those companions who are sitting in thy presence.
1178. "How many paths are prepared for ye in the world to come! how many lights of lights are prepared that they may enlighten ye!
1179. "And come, behold! Therefore on this day there are bound together for thee fifty crowns for Rabbi Benchas Ben Yair, thy father−in−law, and I walk with him.
1180. "And all those are rivers of the mountains of pure balm, for assuredly his place and lot is chosen (otherwise: and I saw that he had, &c.).
1181. (Rabbi Schimeon) said unto him: "Are therefore the just united by the Union of the Diadems more on the days of the New Moon, of the feasts, and of the Sabbaths, than on any other days? "
1182. He answered unto him: "Most certainly; also all those who are without. Like as it is written, Isa. lxvi. 23: 'And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath unto another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Tetragrammaton.'
1183. "If those come, how much more the just!
1184. "Wherefore from one new moon unto another? Because the patriarchs surround the Holy Chariot.
1185. "And from one Sabbath unto another Sabbath, because the seventh day is surrounded by all the other six days.
1186. "Like as it is written: 'And the Elohim blessed the seventh day,' &c.
1187. "And thou, Rabbi Schimeon, art the seventh: thou shalt be the chief; and thou shalt be more crowned and sanctified than all.
1188. "And with three most delicious feasts of the seventh day shall the just be entertained because of thee in the world to come.
1189. "Also it is written, Isa. lviii. 13: 'Thou shalt call the sabbath a delight, the holy of Tetragrammaton, honourable.'
1190. "Who is He, the Holy One of Tetragrammaton? This is Rabbi Schimeon Ben Yochai, who is called very glorious (both) in this world and in (the world) to come." Hereunto is the Greater Holy Assembly.