When Rabbi Eliezer Was Sickened

(înapoi la pagina ZOHAR CUPRINS / Vayera – click)

32) When the great Rabbi Eliezer became ill and was about to die, it was the eve of the Sabbath. He had Hyrcanus, his son, sit on his right, and disclosed before him profound and hidden things. At first, Hyrcanus did not learn from him wholeheartedly because he thought that his mind was not fully lucid. But once he saw that his father’s mind was clear, he received from him 189 sublime secrets.

33) When he reached the secret of the marble stones that mix with the high waters, Rabbi Eliezer wept and stopped speaking. He said, “Arise and go there, my son.” He told him, “Why?” And he replied, “I see that I will soon pass away.” He told him, “Go and tell your mother to move my Tefillin to a high place,” which hints to her of his departure, “And when I depart and come here to see them,” meaning the family, “They should not cry, for they are with me, near and high, and not lowly. And the human mind cannot attain it.”

34) While they were sitting, the greatest sages of the generation came in to visit him and he cursed them for not coming to him to serve him, as it is said, “Its service is greater than its study.” In the meantime, Rabbi Akiva came. He told him, “Akiva, Akiva, why have you not come to serve me?” He replied, “I did not have free time.” He was angered and said, “I wonder if you will die a natural death.” He cursed him that his death would be harsher than anyone’s. In other words, he also cursed the rest of the sages who did not come to serve him that they would not die a natural death, and said that Rabbi Akiva’s death would be the harshest.

35) Rabbi Akiva wept and told him, “Rabbi, teach me Torah.” Rabbi Eliezer began to speak of Maase Merkava [functioning of the system]. Fire came and encircled the two of them. The sages said, “This means that we are unworthy of hearing his teaching now.” They went out the door and sat there. Whatever happened happened, and the fire was gone.

36) He taught 300 decided rules in clarity as bright as snow; he taught him 216 reasons for the verses in the Song of Songs, and Rabbi Akiva’s eyes were shedding water, and the fire encircled them as before. When he reached the verse, “Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick,” Rabbi Akiva could not bear it anymore and wept aloud, and lowed like an ox. He could not speak for fear that Divinity was there.

37) He taught him every profound and sublime secret in the Song of Songs and adjured him to not use any verse in it, so the Creator will not destroy the world because of him, since He has no desire for people to use it because of the great sanctity in it. Afterwards, Rabbi Akiva went out sobbing and his eyes were shedding water. He said, “Woe my teacher, woe my teacher, the world will be orphaned from you.” The rest of the sages entered and asked him, and he replied with words of Torah.

38) It became pressing for Rabbi Eliezer. He raised his arms, placed them on his heart, and said, “Woe unto the world. The upper world has once again removed and hidden every light and every illumination from the bottom world, as it was prior to his coming to the world. Woe unto you two arms, woe unto you two laws, for you will be forgotten from the world this day.” And The Zohar concludes about it and says, “Rabbi Isaac said that in all of Rabbi Eliezer’s days, the law was shining from his mouth as on the day when it was given on Mount Sinai.”

39) Rabbi Eliezer said, “I have learned Torah and I have grasped wisdom and have done services to sages that even if all the people in the world were authors, they would not suffice to write them. And my disciples did not lack from my wisdom but as a brush in the eye,” meaning as the drop that the eye sheds for the drop off the brush that enters it. “And did not lack from the wisdom of my teachers but as one who drinks in the sea.”

And The Zohar concludes that he said that only to praise his masters more than himself. In other words, his saying that he lacked from his teachers as one who drinks in the sea is more than a brush in a tube, which he said about his disciples, meaning it was to praise his masters more than himself.

40) They asked him about the rule of the sandal of the levirate marriage, if it accepts impurity, until he passed away and said, “Pure.” And Rabbi Akiva was not there at the time of his passing. At the end of the Sabbath, they found Rabbi Akiva dead. He tore his clothes and scraped his flesh, and blood was pouring down his beard, and he was yelling and crying. He came out and said, “Heaven, heaven, say unto the sun and the moon that the light that shone more than them has darkened.”

41) When the soul of a righteous wishes to depart the body, she is glad because the righteous is confident that upon his death he will receive his reward. It is written about that, “And when he saw… he ran… to meet them,” opposite the three angels that came with Divinity to receive his soul, glad to greet the angels. From which place does he greet them? From the tent door, as it is written, “And bowed himself to the earth,” to Divinity. In other words, the soul bowed down to Divinity who came to her.

(înapoi la pagina ZOHAR CUPRINS / Vayera – click)

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