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Pithche Jah : THE GATES OF JAH."

(Continued from page 21.)

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. The hedge of the truth, and the others. But thou must know that foundation of the covenant, are as these names and forms of the sacred follow: Whenever the law applies language are not used to express a to the Exalted One certain expres- material form or effects present to sions, as “the hand of the Lord,” the human eye; but solely to indi“the eyes of the Lord,” and the cate the spiritual powers and innate like, either names of members of influences the existence and effects of the human frame, or of some other which are enveloped in these words. corporeal qualities, attributes, and Thus certain powers are denoted by effects, which are limited, passive, the words “ voice,” and “motion, and mutable-as the Holy One is and by others like them ; but they neither corporeal nor has corporeal are spiritual, and descend gradually powers—these expressions, taken li- from the highest Sephiroth. ACterally, can neither be assigned to cordingly it is certain, that whatever him, nor to the unity of the Sephi- is the power expressed by the corporoth * in which he conceals himself. real member, such is likewise the But the true meaning of all such ex- spiritual power enveloped in it; as pressions is solely to convey to us a from it effects are produced all of simile of the high and exalted hidden which have their source, root, and powers which have neither limit, de. origin in the spiritual Sephiroth, finition, nor end.

The law uses

the powers of which gradually dethese expressions because it is im- scend, and from which all other possible for man to comprehend any power emanate.

Hechal Adoshem : THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD."

BY JECHIEL ASHKENASI, OF JERUSALEM, Know that all beings, superior graved, from the engraved to the and inferior, descend by degrees hewn-out,“heavy marble blocks from the Cause of all causes, Jod, hewn out for the exalted temple. He, Vau, He; even from his own And this inferior world receives being down to the centre of the from the orbital world. The orbital earth, according to the plan upon world, and all its hosts, receive which his wisdom has determined. from each other up to that exalted This Cause of all causes is the INFI- orbit which receives from the

angeNITE ; and He has set apart the lic world. The angelic world has crown and all the ten Sephiroth; so ten degrees, one higher than the that each being receives from ano- other up to the first degree, which ther superior to himself. For every is the highest of the olam perad, thing is emanated, from the hidden

separated world.”

Accordingly to the sign, from the sign to the en- the Targum, or translation of Jona


* The word Sephira is either derived derstood by it, the following pages will from spiri, “transparent,” or from sepir, elucidate. “ speech,” or “word.” What is to be un



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than the son of Uzziel,* renders the another," and rider above rider, even words one calls to the other," up to the Highest and most Exalted (Isaiah vi. 3,) by “one receives from - Blessed be He ! The giver is the other.” The principal degree of called shamaim, “heaven," and the the separated world receives from receiver is called eretz, earth ;' and the lowest degree of the olam aziloth, therefore there is heaven above hea“the distinguished world,” and ac- ven, and earth below earth, down to cordingly the prophet says, “And it our inferior earth. This is expressed shall be on that day I will answer by the translation of Jonathan ben the heavens, and he shall answer the Uzziel : “ There was one wheel on earth.” (Hosea ii. 21.) All this is earth;” (Ezekiel i. 15;) which he done according to the will and pur- renders, « From below to the height pose of the Deity, not from any in- of heaven.Each has front and herent or absolute relation between back ;--front to receive, and back to the different degrees and worlds, as impart. All attributes, when they those thought who consider the uni. impart, are called “ masculine;" and verse as increate; but all these dif.

when they receive they are called ferent degrees of the creation receive “ feminine." The ten Sephiroth, light and influence from each other with the sacred names that are asin ascension, up to the Light of the signed to them, and their order, and world, the Highest above all exalta- the form in which they stand after tion, who is called INFINITE. His they have been set apart, are as folemanation extends to all, but he receives from none. Each imparts

* CETHER. that emanation to its fellow, in a

| Binah.

+ CHACHMAH. descending degree. The giver is called rocheb, or * rider ;” and the Geburah. STIPHERETH. || Gedula. receiver is called nirchab, or “rode.”

11 Hod. tt Jesod. ** Nezach, Hence there is one merckaba above

|| || MALCHUTH. (To be continued.)

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(Continued from page 26.)
Sepher Ikkarim : BOOK OF PRINCIPLES.

nial of the consequences which neAlthough the denial of any one cessarily result from each of them, is of the three essential principles laid tantamount to a rejection of the down in the preceding chapters, – principle itself. Such branches are, namely, 1. The existence of the De- for instance: Of the first, the belief ity : 2. Revelation : And 3. Re- in the unity of God, and his immawards and punishments,-involves teriality: Of the second, the belief the rejection of the whole three, and, in prophets as really the Messengers with them, that of all Divine laws; of the Deity, and in the truth of yet it does not follow that their ad- their messages : Of the third, the mission is of itself sufficient to prove belief in Providence, and that rewards any system of laws to be Divine, se- or punishments are both corporeal curing to its professors eternal feli- and spiritual. city or even entitling them to be The necessary belief involved in considered as believers in a Divine the first principle is in the unity and law. For, in order to be so considered, immateriality of God. We must beall the branches which spring from lieve in a Being whose existence is these three radical principles must inherent, absolute, and unconditionlikewise be admitted. For, the de- al; that this Being gave existence to




all; that whatever is, receives from * Jonathan the son of Uzziel, a disciple him, whereas he receives from no of the elder Hilel, lived about thirty years before the Christian era, and translated into * The crown. † Wisdom. I Understanding. the Chaldean language several parts of the 11 Greatness. $ Beauty. I Might. ** Eternity. Old Testament.

ft Foundation. II Majesty. || || Kingdom.

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one ; that every being needs him, Revelation. In this respect all the whilst he needs no one but himself. commandments are of equal importAll these, however, are consequences ance, even that which ordains the resulting from his immateriality: liberation of the brooding bird when For, were he material, he would no its nest is taken away. If therefore longer be one, and would need a any one of these commandments something extrinsic of himself. All were to be regarded as an essential matter is composite, and every com- principle, every one of them must be position requires a compositor to join so regarded. And this would be a its component parts : Consequently, manifest departure from the rule the existence of a material Deity which teaches, that such principles would not be inherent, absolute, and ought to be simplified as much as unconditional, but would be altoge- possible. ther conditional, and dependent on In like manner, the belief in tradi.

extrinsic influence, which tion is not comprised in the three escaused bis composition: He would sential principles : for, although it not be sufficient for himself, but is necessary to the belief in the Diwould stand in need of something vine laws, to admit the traditions of extrinsic, which would consequently the fathers and of the teachers of be greater than he and influence him. those laws; this, too, is a special

The necessary belief involved in the commandment. Such is likewise the third principle is in the Providence case respecting the belief in the imand Omniscience of the Deity. He mutability of the law, which is subthat denies these,-or maintains that ordinate to the belief in the trustwhatever is, is the result of neces- worthiness of the messenger,

of sity, that it must be so and cannot which we shall, God willing, treat in be otherwise,-either rejects rewards the third division. and punishments altogether, or ac- That we have numbered the UNITY cuses the Godhead of injustice and of God amongst the branches necestyranny, by imputing to him, that sarily emanating from the first essenhe punishes as a sinner him who in tial principle, (although the belief in reality is none, as he had it not in that unity is likewise a special and his power to act differently from what positive command,) is owing to the he did. “No! Far be it from God circumstance that this belief comto act unjustly.” (Job xxxiv. 19.) prises two distinct principles, namely,

1. That the Deity is alone without

any equal like unto himself. 2 That, As it may be needful, more parti- although He is one, and his existence cularly and in detail, to enter into is inherent, absolute, and uncondithe means of knowing the branches tional; nevertheless he is our God; above referred to, in order to distin- that is to say, he is the first and only guish between the true believer and Cause of the manifold beings that him who is not; it must in the first are in existence. The first of these instance be stated, that it is not proper two principles is a commandment, to comprise any one of the commands and, as such, ought to be believed: of the law of Moses either in The second is a branch emanating the radical principles or in their from the essential principle of his branches. He who breaks any of existence; and has, as such, been these commandments is a transgress- mentioned in its proper place. ing Israelite, amenable to the law, and subject to such punishment as it inflicts; but he is not excluded Some of the old philosophers, who from the pale of the believing, or in- denied all human knowledge, and cluded in the number of those rene- maintained that it is impossible for gadoes who have no share in the life man to acquire any speculative truth, to come; unless he maintains, that founded their opinion on the asserthe law is neither from God, nor tion,--that, as all knowledge is only given to Moses on Mount Sinai; the result of some prior knowledge, as, in making such assertions, he this, in its turn, inust have arisen rejects the second essential principle, from something previous; and that,



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so on, in continuation, the chain of iii 20.) The reply of the Deity is knowledge must be infinite and with- expressed in the following words : out any commencement; but that “Who has put wisdom, batuchoth," the human mind cannot comprehend (according to the authorized version, any thing infinite. They further as- “in the hidden parts ? ”) “And who sert, that whatever is known by com- hath given binah, understanding, to parison is likewise no positive know- the heart?” Job xxxviii. 36. The word ledge, as every comparison is liable batuchoth has here the same meaning to be differently represented ; that, as in another place in Job, security or consequently, whatever is previously assurance, and is intended to express known requires no comparison; and those innate impressions by means of that what is not previously known, it which knowledge is secured to man. is utterly impossible to attain by Binah denotes®“ perception," and, comparison, which must ever be most accordingly, the whole verse reads variable. These two reasons lead thus: “Who has secured to man them to deny the possibility of man's those innate impressions from which acquiring any speculative knowledge. alone wisdom arises ? or perception, But other sages have refuted their in order to attain knowledge by opinions, and maintain that the first means of comparison ?” Which faassertion is contrary to truth, and culty is in Hebrew called binah, that no previous knowledge is re- understanding,” as

our Rabbies quired; but that ideas, and conse- say, binah is “to comprehend one quently knowledge, can arise without thing by means of another,” or “to previous knowledge, or even the ne- arrive at just conclusions from discessity of comparison, from innate similar premises.” The Divine reimpressions only; that is to say, proof is consequently,

“ Canst thou that such is one of the inherent qua- explain how thou hast obtained lities of the mind, that it produces faculties which animate beings of ideas which are not the result of any another species have not ?" This is previous knowledge. This qualityin likewise the meaning of David when nate in the mind, the Rabbies call he says, “ Thou desirest truth, batu

original impressions:" By which choth, in our innate impressions ; they intended to denote ideas which and, as these are from thee, all have not their origin from any thing knowledge is imparted by thee." external, but which arise from within ; (Psalm li. 6.) In like that these innate impressions are Solomon saith, “The Lord giveth the foundation of all wisdom; and wisdom; from his mouth is knowledge that all knowledge 'originates from and understanding.” The meaning is, them. To the second assertion they that all wisdom is from God, because reply, that it does not follow, because dangath, “knowledge,” the innate comparisons may vary, that there- impressions, uthbuna, and perception, fore no instruction should be impart- emanate from and are implanted by ed to the mind from them : For, as Him. Thence likewise the men of they say, the idea is innate, but dor- the Great Assembly,* use the followmant until called forth into life by ing words in the authorized form of the comparison, and the mind coin- daily prayers : Thou favorest the cides in the opinion that knowledge, human being with dangath, 'knowby that means excited, is real know- ledge,' and teachest man binah, `unledge. Consequently the two ways derstanding.'” The meaning of which in which knowledge reaches the mind is, “Thou hast deigned to bestow on are perfectly natural, though they the whole human race innate impresare innate and without any trace of sions, by means of which thou teachtheir origin. The opinions last ex- est man to perceive and compare." pressed seem to be founded in truth; And the prayer ends with thanks as we find the Holy One (blessed be for the gift of dangath, or “innate imHe !) reproves Job when he presumes pressions," as they are the root of to complain that, according to his all human knowledge. This also opinion, the moral order is imper- led our Rabbies of blessed memory fect, in the words, “Why does he to say, that if there is no dangath, bestow light on the wretched ?” (Job * Ezra and his Companions.



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there is no binah, and vice versa ; pute their existence, as there are such meaning, that without innate impres- multifarious evidences and historical sions there can be no binah or per references, in proof of the fact.Each ception,” and that without the latter of these three sorts of knowledge is the former is vain. This is likewise again capable of being adduced as the meaning of Solomon when he evidence of the truth of certain other says, When wisdom entereth thy principles : Thus, for instance, all heart, and knowledge is pleasant the demonstrations of the mathemaunto thy soul, discretion shall preserve tician rest on innate impressions : thee, and understanding keep thee.” The natural philosopher demonstrates (Prov. ii. 11.) That is, If thou art from the impression of the senses ; guided by innate impressions, thou and the historian demonstrates from wilt not be misled by corrupt ideas." facts universally admitted. What is

thus demonstrated by evidence must

be allowed to be indisputably true, There can be no doubt but every although its cause cannot be underhuman science has borrowed its first stood, or is not known; for as little principles from some other science, as it is possible to doubt that a trion the strength of which it endea- angle is not a square, as little is it vours to raise the demonstration of possible to doubt that the magnet its own truth : As, for instance, the draws iron,-although the cause why mathematicians borrow the line and it does so is not known: For what the point from natural philosophers. is made evident by experience can This fundamental rule prevails in never be disproved. every branch of speculative science, As the essential and first principles which must borrow its first principles of the Divine laws are not all, and at from some other ; but when that all times, demonstrated either by incannot be done, innate impressions nate impressions,-such as that the are laid down as its basis.

whole is larger than a part,-or by the It is proper to inquire, Whence evidence of the senses, such as, that have the Divine laws derived their the fire warms; the Deity, in the befirst principles ?” A question more ginning of every Revelation, assigned applicable to them, than to any other the means needful to evince its truth; system of laws, as all others are de- namely, experience, similar to that rived from innate impressions; which, which proves that the magnet draws however, cannot be the case with the iron; a fact which although we are Divine laws. For although the ex. ignorant of its cause, is nevertheless istence of the Deity can be demon- proved to us by the impression of strated, revelation, and rewards, and

And this experience, punishments, cannot be demonstrated evidenced by the senses, has always by means of innate impressions. In been the essential and distinguishing reply to this question, we say, that quality of every revelation of the the different kinds of knowledge, the divine laws. Of Adam it is said, reality of which requires no further “ And the Lord God commanded proof, is three-fold: 1. Innate im- Adam, Of every tree in the Garden pressions ; examples of which are, thou mayest freely eat,” &c. Gen. that the whole is larger than a part; ii. 16. Adam's senses heard and that two 'objects which appear alike conceived the command, and thereto the eye are similar ; that affirma- fore our Rabbies say, that, in this tive and negative cannot both be true first command to Adam, there is an in the same sense of the same thing. indication of all subsequent com2. The impressions of our senses ; mandments. The proof thus afforded, such as that the fire heats, and the by the evidence of his senses, was, snow maketh cold. 3. The impression moreover, confirmed by his punisharising from facts so notorious that ment for transgressing the Divine no one can deny them ; such as that behest,—the foretaste of a future Jerusalem, Rome, and Babylon did state. Such was likewise the case exist ; and though a man may not with the revelation to Noah, (Gen. have seen any of these places, yet, it ix. 3,) when the Deity permitted him will never enter into his mind to dis- and his sons to feed on flesh, which

our senses.


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