Primordial Wisdom: The Philosophers' Quest
Primordial Light: The Ecstatics' Quest
PARDES: Between Sefirot and Demonology
| Four entered the Orchard (Pardes):
Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Akher and Rabbi Aqiva. One peeked
and died; one peeked and was smitten; one peeked and cut down the shoots; one ascended
safely and descended safely.
Ben Azzai peeked and died. Concerning him Scripture says: "Precious in the eyes of he Lord is the death of His loyal ones" (Ps. 16. 15).
Ben Zoma peeked and was smitten. Concerning him Scripture says: "If you have found honey, eat only your fill lest you become filled with it and vomit" (Prov. 25:16).
Akher peeked and cut down the shoots. Concerning him Scripture says: "Do not let your mouth bring your flesh to sin, and do not say before the angel that it is an error; why should God become angry at your voice, and ruin your handiwork" (Eccl. 5:5).
Rabbi Aqiva ascended safely and descended safely. Concerning him Scripture says: "Draw me, let us run after you, the King has brought me into His chambers" (Song I:4).
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page historypage uploaded 29 July 1999