Above the Firmament

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441) “And above the firmament that was over their heads, as the appearance of a sapphire stone, was an image of a throne.” “And above the firmament” means in the firmament below Malchut. This is because in the firmament of above, Bina, there is no one to look at it. But of the firmament below, in Malchut, it is written, “And shall see My back.” And from above, from that firmament, stands a sapphire stone, Malchut, a precious gem.

442) “An image of a throne.” There is a throne and there is a throne. The upper throne, Bina, is hidden. It is not disclosed and there is no one to stand in it, to know and to look. This is why it is written here “A throne,” without the prefix “The,” which is the throne below, Malchut.

443) “An image as the appearance of a man.” It is written “An image,” but why is it also written, “As the appearance”? The image of a man is a high secret in the high glory, ZA in HaVaYaH filled with Alephs, which is 45 in Gematria [man]. This is the form of a man who sits on the throne, Malchut. This is the meaning of the added “As the appearance,” to include those forms in the words of Hochma, which are called “seeing” or “appearance,” for so the Hochma is called. These are the secrets of the Hochma that rise and crown above in ZA. Afterwards they stand in the form of a man, in the form that the righteous crown them, and the Creator plays with all of them with His crowns.

444) And you friends, the Creator is now playing with those words that are crowned in that way that you said. But you kept the form of man before your Master in your holy forms, for while I was seeing you, observing your form, I saw about you that you were inscribed in man and I know that your form was present above. So are the righteous destined to be recognized before everyone’s eyes, to show the holy form of their faces before the whole world, as it is written, “All who see them will recognize them because they are the seed whom the Lord has blessed.”

445) At that time Rabbi Shimon saw Rabbi Yosi contemplating worldly matters. He told him, “Arise, Yosi, and complete your form, for a letter is missing in you.” Because Yosi was contemplating worldly matters, he called him Yosi and not Rabbi Yosi. Rabbi Yosi rose and was delighted with words of Torah, and he rose before him. Rabbi Shimon looked at him and said, “Rabbi Yosi, now you are whole before Atik, and your form is complete.”

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