Righteous to Whom It Happens according to the Deeds of the Wicked

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163) There is Hevel [vanity/breath vapor] that is done on earth. It is written that there is Hevel because King Solomon made this book and established it on seven Havalim [plural of Hevel], which are the seven Sefirot of ZA, the light of Ruach, called Havalim, which the world, Nukva, stands on. Her seven Sefirot exist from the seven Sefirot HGT NHYM de ZA, since the Nukva is speech and there is no speech without Hevel, which strikes on the five outlets of the mouth.

164) These seven Havalim are called “seven pillars that support the world,” Nukva. They correspond to the seven firmaments. A firmament is the Parsa de ZA and contains within it seven firmaments, corresponding to the seven Sefirot HGT NHYM in Parsa. Those are curtain, firmaments, sky, habitation, abode, place, and deserts.

Opposite them is “Vanity of vanities [Hevel Havalim] says Kohelet, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” There are seven Havalim here. Hevel Havalim are three; Hevel Havalim once more are six; and the Hevel at the end of the verse is seven.

165) Those are seven firmaments. However, there are other firmaments that cling to them and expand and emerge from them. These are the seven firmaments in the Nukva. Similarly, there are other Havalim of the Nukva, which expand and emerge from these seven Havalim de ZA, and in Kohelet, Solomon said all of them.

166) The words, “There is Hevel” mean the Yesod in Havalim, which has Hochma that comes out of these high Havalim, on which the world—Nukva—stands. It is written, “Which is done upon the earth,” on the Nukva. “Done” means that the Yesod exists by its existence and grows stronger by its strength in those who work the land, meaning the righteous. And by the rising of their MAN, which rises from the earth, this Yesod is appointed on bestowing upon the earth. All its strength and sustenance are in the souls of the righteous, which were gathered from the earth, meaning died before they sinned, while they were still sweet-smelling, such as Enoch, as it is written, “He was not; for God took him.” He took him before his time and entertained with him. And so it was with the rest of the righteous of the world.

167) There are two things for which the righteous depart the world prematurely: 1) For sins of the generation. When wicked multiply in the world, the righteous are among them and they are caught for their iniquities. 2) When it is clear to the Creator that they will sin later, He removes them from the world before their time. This is why it is written, “There are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked,” meaning that the Din from above reaches them as though they had committed transgressions and did as the wicked.

168) Rabbi Akiva and his friends departed the world, since they were killed by the kingship. Does it say anywhere in the Torah that the righteous will suffer such torments? It does not write it. But Solomon said, “There are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked,” that such Din comes to them from above as though they had committed the transgressions and deeds of the wicked. It is also written, “And there are wicked to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous,” who sit quietly and peacefully in this world and the Din does not reach them, as though they had done deeds of righteous.

169) Why are they as deserving as the righteous? It is either because it is clear to the Creator that they will repent or because the seed that will come out of them will be righteous in the world. Such were Terah, from whom a seed of truth came out, meaning Abraham, and Ahaz, from whom Hezekiah came out, and likewise with the rest of the wicked in the world. For this reason, on this side and on that side, in the righteous and in the wicked, the Hevel is done as we said and strengthens over the earth as we said.

170) “There are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked,” as those who commit transgressions, meaning the daughter of an idolater or some other act of the deeds of the wicked. They watch over their persistence and do not sin for fear of their Master and they do not wish to be defiled. It is as some true righteous who came upon such deeds but were strong and did according to their Master’s will and did not sin, as it was written that Hevel was done on the earth and it was strengthened in its force.

171) “And there are wicked to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous.” When one Mitzva [commandment] comes to them, which is the deed of the righteous, they are rewarded with it and they do it. It is like that murderous Jewish robber who was in the mountains with idol worshipping robbers. When a Jew would go by there, he would save him and keep him from them. Rabbi Akiva would say about him, “There are wicked to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous.”

172) It is like that wicked man who met a woman one night walking to her daughter’s house, and he wanted to rape her. She told him, “Please, honor your Master and do not sin with me.” He left her and did not sin in her. This, too, is Hevel. Like that Hevel, it strengthens in the righteous that the act of the wicked reaches them and they do not sin. Similarly, it strengthens among the wicked when the deeds of the righteous reach them and they do them.

173) The Creator made righteous and wicked in the world. As He is glorified in the world by the deeds of the righteous, He is also glorified by the deeds of the wicked when they do a good deed in the world, as it is written, “He has made every thing beautiful in its time.” Woe unto the wicked when he harms himself and strengthens in his sins.

174) “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity; there is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his evil-doing.” When Solomon was given Hochma [wisdom], he saw everything when the moon ruled, meaning when the Nukva was in full. This is so because Solomon was receiving from her.

“There is a righteous man” is the pillar of the world, Yesod, on which the world stands. “Perishes,” as in “The righteous perishes.” This is so at the time of the exile, when he has nothing upon whom to bestow and he is regarded as being perished. “In his righteousness” is the Nukva, called “righteousness” because she lies in the dust. At that time, the righteous has no one upon whom to bestow and hence, he perishes in his righteousness. As long as Israel are in exile, this righteousness is with them in exile. For this reason, “There is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness,” since the upper blessings do not reach him.

175) “And there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his evil-doing.” This is SAM, who prolongs the peace and quiet for Edom. He does that through his wife, since he is bad and his wife is called bad, and she is a strong serpent. However, they receive peace and quiet only because Sam’el was attached to that Nukva, and his Nukva gives them that. Similarly, he gives to the rest of the kings where Israel is in exile. Until the Creator raises the fallen tabernacle of David from the dust, the Nukva is fallen during the exile, as it is written, “I will raise up the fallen tabernacle of David.”

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