III And Passeth By the Trangession

This is a great quality. For pardon of sin is not granted by a deputy but at the hand of the Holy One, Blessed is He, himself. As it is written: 'For with Thee is forgiveness..'[1] the pardon being that he washes away the sin. As it is written: 'When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion..'[2] And so, too, it is written: 'And I will sprinkle clean water on you..'[3] This is the meaning of 'And passeth by the transgression': He pours out clean water to wash away the sin. Man, too, must so behave. He should not say: 'Shall I put to rights that which another has perverted or which is the result of his sin?' He should not speak in this way. For when man sins the Holy One, Blessed is He, himself (and not by means of a deputy) rights the sin and washes its stain away. From this one can learn the depth shame in sinning, for the King is obliged to cleanse the filthy garments.

IV Of the Remnant of His Heritage

Behold, how the Holy One, Blessed is He, behaves with regard to Israel: He says: 'What can I do to Israel since they are My relatives with whom I have a relationshop of the flesh?' For they (the Community of Israel) are the spouse of the Holy One, Blessed is He. He calls her 'My daughter,' 'My sister,' 'My mother,' as our Rabbis of blessed memory have explained.[4] It is further written: 'Israel, the people near to Him'[5] (literally: related to Him) for they are His children. This is why the verse says 'To the she'erith of His inheritance' - from the term 'she'er[6] basar' (relationship of the flesh). For come what may they are His inheritance. God says: 'What shall I do if I punish them, for the pain will be Mine?' As it is written: 'In all their sorrows[7] He was afflicated.' The word Lo ('He') is written with an 'Aleph[8] (to mean not). For their sufferings extend to the Highest Wonder and how much more so to the Two Faces[9] where the divine Providence is chiefly concentrated. And the word LO is read with a Waw (to mean 'He'). It is further written: 'And His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.' For He cannot bear their pain and disgrace for they the she'erith of His inheritance.

So it is with regard to one's neighbors. All Israel are related one to the other, for their souls are united and in each sould there is a portion of all the others. This is the reason why a multitude carrying out the divine commands cannot be comparted with the few who do so[10], for the multitude posseses combined strength. This is the reason, too, for the Rabbi's explanation[11] that those are counted among the first ten[12] in the Synagogue recieve reward equal to all who come later, even if the late-comers are a hundred in number. The number 'a hundred' is meant literally, for the souls of the first ten are united in each other so that there are ten times ten, each one of the ten including one hundred souls in his own soul. For this reason, too, all Israel are surety one for the other[13] since each possesses literally a portion of all the others; and when one Israelite sins he wrongs not only his own soul but the portion which all the others possess in him. From which it follows that his neighbor is a surety for that portion.

And since all Israelites are related to each other it is only right that a man desire his neighbor's well-being, that he eye benevolently the good fortune of his neighbor and that his neighbor's honor be as dear to him as his own; for he and his neighbor are one. This is why we are commanded to love our neighbor[14] as ourself. It is proper that a man desire the well-being of his neighbor and that he speak no evil of him nor desire that evil befall him. Just as the Holy One, Blessed is He, desires neither our disgrace nor our suffering because we are His relatives, so too, a man should not desire to witness evil befalling his neighbor nor see his neighbor suffer or disgraced. And these things should cause him the same pain as if he were the victim. The same applies to his neighbor's good fortune.
with Thee is forgiveness. Ps. CXXX. 4

When the Lord shall have washed away.. Is. IV. 4

will sprinkle clean water. Ez. XXXVI. 25

have explained V. Midrash Shir. R. IX. 4

the people near to Him Ps. CXLVIII. 14 near to Him = kerobho,which can bear the meaning of 'related to Him,' a karobh = 'one near to,' generally means a near relative.

she'er This word means both "remnant" and "relationship."

In all their sorrows Is. LXIII. 9

written with an 'Aleph. There are marginal variants to many Scriptural verses. The version as read is known as the Keri ('reading') but the alternatre version is frequently left in the text and is known as the Kethibh ('the writing'). V. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, Oxford, 1910, p. 65f The Keri here is LO with the letter waw meaning 'He' ('in all their sorrows He was afflicted'). The kethibh is L'o (with the letter 'Aleph') - 'In all their sorrows He did not afflict them).' C., however (following Zohar 1, 120b), seeks to reconcile the Keri with the Kethibh by interpreting the word not as referring to 'that which is Not', ie, 'The Highest Wonder.' The meaning arrived at by the juxaposition of the Keri and Kethibh is that in all their sorrows, God is afflicated to the extent that Israel's sufferings penetrate to the Highest Wonder. The Kabbalists speak of Crown as the Highest Wonder because nothing is known of it. For the same reason it is spoken of as 'Ayin = 'that which is Nothing.' The doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, for instance, recieves in Kabbalisitic thought the interpretation that 'that which is' (yesh) = Wisdom, is created from 'that which is not' ('ayin) = Crown. 'It (Crown) is called 'Ayin because of its great refinement and attachment to its source so that nothing may be postulated of it. From this a second emanation emerges, Wisdom called Yesh, for it is the beginning of that which is revealed, the beginning of that which is' (Or Ne'erabh, VI. I).

the Two Faces = Wisdom and Understanding.

with the few who do so Siphra to Lev. XXVI 8

the Rabbi's explaination 'Rabbi Joshua b. Levi said: " A man should always rise early to go to synagogue so that he may have the merit of being counted in the first ten; since if even a hundred come after him he recieves the reward of them all." ... Say rather: He is given a reward equal to that of all of them' (Ber. 47b).

the first ten the qourum for congregational prayer is ten, v. article Minyan in J.E., Vol. VIII, pp. 603-604

surety one for the other Sheb. 39a

commanded to love our neighbor Lev. XIX. 18 ___________________________________________________________________