Chapter III
How should a man train himself to possess the quality of Wisdom? Behold, Supernal Wisdom, though it is hidden and exceedingly exalted, is spread over all creatures. Concerning this it is said: 'How manifold[1] are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom Thou has made them all.' So, too, it is proper for man that his wisdom be ready to benefit all. He should be an effective teacher of men, to each according to his powers, influencing each as much as he possibly can without in any way preventing him.

Behold, Wisdom has two faces. The higher face turns toward the Crown, it does not gaze downwards but recieves from above. The second face, the lower one, turns downwards to control the Sephiroth, emanating of its wisdom to them. So, too, man should have two faces: the one, his solitude with his Creator in order to add to his wisdom which the Holy One, Blessed is He, has poured upon him. And just as Wisdom pours out to each Sephirah according to its measure and needs so he should pour out to each man according to the dimensions of his mind, the amount he can bear and that which is fit and proper for him. He should take care not to give more than the mind of the recipient can hold so that no harm may befall, for the Highest Sephirah[2] does not add to the amount determined by the limits of the recipient.

Furthermore, it is the nature of Wisdom to provide for all that exists, for it is the thought which contemplates all creatures. Concerning Wisdom it is said: 'For My thoughts[3] are not your thoughts.' And it is written: 'But let him devise means[4] that he that is banished be not an outcast from him.' And it is further written: 'For I know the thoughts[5] that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.' So, too, it is necessary that a man have his eyes open to help the children of Israel in their way and his thought be directed toward bringing near those who have strayed and to think well of them. Just as the Mind thinks that which will benefit all existing things man, too, should be concerned to improve the lot of his friends. ANd he should take good counsel with God and with His people, the individuals and the Community as a whole, and to lead back to the right way he who has strayed from the good way. And he should give mind and thought how to lead him and encourage him in the good and upright way in the fashion of the Supernal Thought which directs rightly the Supernal man.

Furthermore, Wisdom preserveth the life[6] of all things, as it is written: 'Wisdom preserveth the life of him that hath it.' So he, too, should teach life to the whole populace of the world[7] and cause them to possess the life of this world and the next and provide them with the means of living. To sum up, he should cause life to flow to all.

Furthermore, Wisdom is the father[8] of all created things. As it is written: 'How manifold[9] are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom Thou has made all of them.' They live and exist from that source.. So, he, too, should be a father to all the creature of the Holy One, Blessed is He, and to Israel in particular, for they are the holy souls that emanate from that source. And he should constantly pray for mercy and blessing for the world just as the Supernal Father has mercy on all His creatures. And he should constantly pray for the alleviation of suffering as if those who suffer were actually his children and as if he had created them. For this is the will of the Holy One, Blessed is He. As the faithful shepherd[10] said: 'Have I conceived[11] all this people? That Thou shouldest say unto me: Carry them in thy bosom?' In this way he should carry all God's people as a nursing-father[12] carrieth the sucking child. He should gather the lambs[13] in his arm and carry them in his bosom and lead gently those that give suck. He should think of those that are cut off[14], seek those that are young, heald that which is broken, feed that which standeth still, restore those that are lost. He should have pity on Israel and carry their burden with good humor, as does the Supernal Merciful Father Who bears all. He should not tire nor hide himselfnot become weary in leading each one according to his needs. These are the qualities of Wisdom, of the father merciful to his children.

Furthermore, his mercy extend to all creatures, neither destroying nor despising any of them. For the Supernal Wisdom is extended to all created things- minerals, plants, animals and humans. This is the reason for despising food[15]. In this way man's pity should be extended to all the works of the Blessed One just as the Supernal Wisdom despises no created thing for they are all created from that source, as it is written: 'In wisdom[16] Thou has made them all.' This is the reason Our Holy Teacher[17] was punished for his failure to have pity[18] on the young calf which tried to hide near him, saying to him: "Go, for this thou wast created." Therefore, sufferings which are derived from the aspect of Judgment, came upon him, for Mercy acts as a shield[19] before Judgment. And when he took pity on the weasel, saying: "It is written: 'and His tender mercies are over all His works,'" he was delivered from Judgment because he drew upon himself the light of Wisdom and the sufferings were taken away. In this way he should despise no created thing, for they all were created in Wisdom. He should not uproot anything which grows, unless it is necessary, nor kill any living thing unless it is necessary. And he should choose a good death[20] for them, with a knife that has been carefully examined[21], to have pity on all things and not to hurt them depends on Wisdom, unless it be to elevate them higher and higher, from plant to animal and from animal to human. For then it is permitted to uproot the plant and to kill the beast, to bring merit out[22] of demerit[23].

How manifold Ps. CIV. 24

the Highest Sephira Wisdom, Crown is not here counted together with the other Sephiroth.

For my thoughts Is. LV. 8

let him devise means Lit. "think thoughts", II Sam. XIV. 14

For I know the thoughts Jer. XXIX. 11.

Wisdom preserveth the life Ecc. VII. 12

populace of the world Lit. 'the whole world'

Wisdom is the Father In Kabbalistic symbolism Wisdom is known as the Father

How manifold Ps. CIV. 24

the faithful shepherd Moses

Have I concieved Num. XI. 12

as a nursing-father Numbers ibid.

gather the lambs Is. XL. 11

of those that are cut off Zech. XI. 16

against despising food Ber. 50b, cf. Shulkan 'Arukh 'Orah Hayyim, 171, and Zohar, Prologue, 14b and Encyclopedia Taludith, Vol. III, Jer. 1951, p. 50f.

In wisdom Ps. CIV. 24

Our Holy Teacher The name given to Rabbi Judah the Prince (2nd Century), the editor of the Mishnah

failure to have pity. "A calf was being taken to the slaughter, when it broke away, hid its head under Rabbi's robes, and lowed. "Go," he said, "for this thou wast created." Thereupon they said in Heave: "Since he has no pity, let us bring suffering upon him." One day Rabbi's maidservant was sweeping the house; seeing some yound weasels lying there, she made to sweep them away. "Let them be," he said to her, "it is written: And His tender mercies are over all His works" (Ps. CXLV. 9) Said they in Heaven: "Since he is compassionate, let us be compassionate to him." (B.M. 85a).

Mercy acts as a shield 'God, in creating the world, meant it to be based on justice, and all that is done in the world would be weighed in the scales of justice, were it not that, to save the world from perishing. God screened it with mercy, which tempers pure justice and prevents it destroying the world. The world is thus governed in mercy and is therefore able to endure.' (Zohar I, 180b top)

choose a good death C. here quotes the Rabbinic expression used in connection with the execution of a criminal whose death is to be made easy - "R. Nahman said in Rabbah b. Abbahu's name: Scripture states, Love thy neighbor as thyself (Lev. XIX. 18), i.e., choose a good (i.e., an easy) death for him' (Sanh. 45a)

a knife that has been carefully examined According to Rabbinic teaching the knife used for slaughtering animals must be carefully examined beforehand that it be free from notches which tear the throat. (Hull. 17b)

to bring merit i.e., the effect of elevation into higher forms.

out of demerit The act of uprooting the plant or killing the beast.