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CHAPTER XI.

CONCERNING THE BEARD OF MACROPROSOPUS IN GENERAL.

209. RABBI SCHIMEON began, and said: Woe unto him who extendeth his hand unto that most glorious supernal beard of the Holy Ancient One, the concealed of all.

210. This is the praise of that beard; the beard which is concealed and most precious in all its dispositions; the beard which neither the superiors nor the inferiors have known; 1 the beard which is the praise of all praise; the beard to which neither man, nor prophet, nor saint hath approached so as to behold it.

211. The beard, whose hairs hang down even unto the breast, white as snow; the adornment of adornments, the concealment of concealments, the truth of all truths.

212. It is said in the "Book of Concealed Mystery": That beard, the truth of all (truths), proceedeth from the place of the ears, and descendeth around the mouth of the Holy One; arid descendeth and ascendeth, covering (the cheeks which it calleth) the places of copious fragrance; (it is) white with ornament: and* it descendeth

 

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in the equilibrium (of balanced power), and furnisheth a covering even unto the midst of the breast.

213. That is the beard of adornment, true and perfect, from the which flow down thirteen fountains, scattering the most precious balm of splendour.

214. This is disposed in thirteen forms.

215. In the first disposition are classed the hairs from above, and it commenceth from that portion of the hair of His head which is above His ears; and descendeth in one tress before the apertures of the ears in the most perfect equilibrium, even unto the corner of the mouth.

216. In the second disposition are classed the hairs from the comer of the mouth, and they ascend even unto the other corner of the mouth in perfectly equated order.

217. The third disposition is from midway between the nostrils; beneath those two apertures there goeth forth a certain path, and the hair is wanting in that path; but on either side of and bordering that path it is fuller and in perfect order.

218. The hairs which are classed under the fourth disposition descend below the mouth from the one corner even unto the other comer, in perfect order.

219. The fifth disposition. Beneath the mouth proceedeth another path, from the region of the superior path, and those two paths are impressed on His mouth on this side and on that.

220. The hairs which are classed in the sixth disposition ascend and come from beneath upwards unto the corner of the mouth, and cover the places of copious fragrance, even unto the upper corner of the mouth, and the hair descendeth at the corner of the opening, and across below the mouth.

221. In the seventh disposition the hair terminateth, and there are seen two apples in the places of copious fragrance, beautiful and joyful in aspect, because (in that aspect) is the universe maintained. And this is that which is said, Prov.

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xvi. 16: "In the light of the king's countenance is life."

222. In the eighth disposition a certain tress of hair proceedeth round about the beard, and (the hairs) hang down equilibrated even unto the chest.

223. In the ninth disposition the hairs of the beard are interwoven and mingled with those hairs which hang in equilibrium; which hang even thus, so that none is preeminent over another.

224. In the tenth disposition the hairs descend beneath the beard, and cover the throat beneath the beard.

225. The eleventh disposition is, that no hairs are preeminent over other hairs, and they are restored into perfect proportion.

226. The twelfth disposition is that the hairs do not hang over the mouth, and that the mouth is uncovered in every part, and that the hair surrounding it is beautiful.

227. The thirteenth disposition is that the hairs hang down on this side and on that beneath the beard, furnishing a covering in beautiful adornment, even unto the chest.

228. Nothing is seen of the whole countenance and of the places of fragrance, except those beautiful white apples which produce the life of the universe; and they radiate gladness upon Microprosopus.

229. Through those thirteen dispositions do they flow down, and the thirteen fountains of precious oil issue forth, and they flow down through all those inferiors, and in that oil do they shine, and with that oil are they anointed.

230. The beard of ornament of the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, the most concealed of all things, is configurated in thirteen dispositions.

231. From the two beautiful apples 1 of His countenance is the face of Macroprosopus illuminated; and whatsoever

 

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is white and rosy is found below; 1 it shineth and radiateth from that light.

232. Those thirteen dispositions are found in the beard. And in proportion to the purity of his beard, 2 according to its dispositions, is a man said to be true; for also whosoever (in sleep) beholdeth his beard, that man is very desirous of truth.

233. We have taught in the "Book of Concealed Mystery," that certain (dispositions) are found in the universe, according to those thirteen (dispositions) which depend from that venerable beard, and they are opened out into the thirteen gates of mercies.

234. And he who extendeth his hand in swearing, also doth the same if he swear by the thirteen 3 dispositions of the beard: these are in Arikh Anpin, or Macroprosopus.

235. In Zauir Anpin, or Microprosopus, how many are there? He said unto Rabbi Isaac: "Arise in thy place, and describe the beard of the Holy King according unto the arrangement of its parts. How are these arranged?

236. Rabbi Isaac arose; he commenced and said, Micah vii. 18: "What god is like unto Thee," &c.; "Thou shalt give truth unto Jacob," &c.

237. "We have learned by tradition that herein are thirteen sections seen, and they all proceed from the thirteen fountains of excellent oil, of the parts of the holy beard of the Ancient of the Ancient Ones.

238. "Tradition: A most secret thing is this disposition of the beard. Secret is it and hidden; hidden, yet not

 

 

 

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hidden; concealed, yet not concealed in its dispositions; known, yet unknown.

239. "The first disposition. We have learned that the single locks and the single hairs do not mutually adhere unto each other; and that the hairs of the beard take their rise from the disposition of the hair (of the head).

240. "This matter is worthy of examination. If all the hairs of the head and the hairs of the venerable supernal beard are balanced in one equilibrium, wherefore are some long, and others not so long?

241. "Wherefore are not the hairs of the beard constant in the same proportion of length? These also are firm; while those which are on the head are not firm, but soft.

242. "Therefore is it said that (in Macroprosopus) all the hairs descend equally from the head and beard; for the hair of the head is prolonged even unto the shoulders, so that it may reach unto the head of Microprosopus, from that flux of the one brain unto the other.

243. "And because they are not firm (also it is necessary that they be soft). 1

244. "We have learned by tradition. What is that which is written, Prov. i. 20: 'Wisdom (plural in Hebrew, ChKMVTh, not ChKMH) will cry without; and at the end of the verse it is written, 'She (singular) will utter Her voice in the streets.' In this text the beginning doth neither agree with the end, nor the end with the beginning.

245. "Therefore is it said: Wisdom will cry without when She passeth from the concealed brain of Macroprosopus unto the brain of Microprosopus, through those longer hairs; and thus as it were extrinsically those two brains are connected and become in this way one brain.

246. "Since there is not subsistence in the inferior brain except by the preservation of the supernal brain.

 

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247. "And when this proflux is instituted from the one, namely, into the other, this hath place which is written, 'She will utter Her voice;' namely, in the singular number.

248. "And because She passeth over from brain unto brain through those long hairs, these same (hairs) are not found to be firm.

249. "Wherefore? Because if they were firm, Wisdom could not be conducted by them unto the brain.

250. "Because Wisdom cometh not from man, who is stern and wrathful, like as it is written, Eccles. ix. 17: 'The words of wise men are heard in quiet.'

251. "And thence we learn that in him whose hair is firm, wisdom dwelleth not 1

252. "But because these are long (the others are soft) in order that they may bring assistance to all.

253. "How, unto all? So that it may have entrance into the marrow of the spine of the back, which is connected with the brain.

254. "And because the hair of the head doth not hang over the hairs of the beard, since the hair of the head hangeth down, and is drawn back behind the ears, and doth not overhang the beard; because it is not necessary to mingle these with those, but all are separated in their own paths.

255. "We have learned by tradition. All the hairs, as well of the head as of the beard, are white as snow.

256. "And we have learned. Those which are in the beard are all firm. Wherefore? Because those are firm accordingly, that they may firmly mark out their thirteen measurements from the Ancient of the Ancient Ones. 2

257. "And those measurements take their beginning from before the ears.

 

 

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258. "And those measurements have been included within certain limitations, in order that they should not be confounded with each other. (Others read the passage thus: Because they are communicated unto the inferiors. For this have we been taught. The hairs commence before the ears, because they have been separated, and are not to be mingled with the others," &c.)

259. "But if thou sayest that other (sacred passages) are not given, analogous to these (measurements), thou art in error. For thus is the tradition: "The thirteen measurements of the mercies of the Most Holy Ancient One (are symbolized by these clauses of) Mic. vii. 18: 'What God is like unto Thee?' the first.

260. "'Pardoning iniquity;' the second.

261. "'And passeth by the transgression;' the third.

262. "'Of the remnant of His heritage;' the fourth.

263. "'He retaineth not His anger for ever;' the fifth.

264. "'Because He delighteth in mercy;' the sixth.

265. "'Again, He will have compassion on us;' the seventh.

266. "'He will subdue our iniquities;' the eighth.

267. "'And Thou wilt cast all their iniquities into the depths of the sea;' the ninth.

268 "'Thou wilt give truth unto Jacob;' the tenth.

269. "'Mercy unto Abraham;' the eleventh.

270. "'Which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers;' the twelfth.

271. "'From the days of old;' the thirteenth.

272. "'Unto these correspond in the law, Exod. xxxiv. 6: 'God merciful and gracious,' &c. And those are the Inferiors.

273. "And if thou sayest, 'Why did not Moses pronounce those majestic words? 1 It shall be answered unto thee: 'Moses hath no duty to perform save in the place

 

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where judgment is found; and in the place where judgment is found it is not necessary to speak thus. 1

274. "And Moses spake not, save in that time when the Israelites had sinned and judgment was impending; hence Moses spake only in that place wherein judgment is found.

275. "But in another place the prophet hath instituted the order of the praise of the Ancient of Days. 2

276. "And those thirteen forms of the supreme holy beard, concealed with many concealments, are most powerful to subdue and mitigate all the stern decrees of the judgments.

277. "What man is he who looketh back upon that most secret, holy supernal beard, who is not confounded before it?

278. "Because also all the hairs are hard and firm in their disposition.

279. "But if thou sayest, 'What if they be so? Surely the lower hairs are black: why are these not as those?'

280. "Nevertheless, thus is the tradition: It is written, Cant. v. 11: 'His locks are bushy and black as a raven.'

281. Also it is written, Dan. vii. 18: 'The hair of His head like pure wool.'

282. "There is no contradiction here, for the one is said of the supernal beard, but the other of the inferior beard. 3

283. "Also because when the law was given forth unto the Israelites, it was written in black fire upon white fire.

284. "Also the foundation of the matter cometh from

 

 

 

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those hairs; because they are found (arising) out of the (supernal) brain, and stretching down unto the inferior brain.

285. "Also because these are above the beard. Hence the beard is distinct, and all its forms are found separated (each from the other); so that the beard is alone, and its hairs are also distinct.

Footnotes

134:1  Because it is the beard of Macroprosopus, the Concealed Ancient One.

136:1  The cheeks.

137:1  That is, the lower Sephiroth reflect and partake of the properties of the superior emanations.

137:2  By the beard is of course symbolically meant the atmosphere of good or bad deeds with which a man surrounds himself during his life. Concerning dreaming of the beard, see the "Book of Concealed Mystery," c. iii. 17, 18.

137:3  Thirteen is by Gematria the number of AChD, Achad, Unity. For A+ Ch + D = 1 + 8 + 4 = 13.

138:1  I.e. If they be not the one, they must be the other.

139:1  I.e., Meaning symbolically, "in him who is hardened."

139:2  I have before remarked that this refers to the unity of the Deity: AChD, Achad, One; which by Gematria yields 13.

140:1  Apparently meaning that, as the words of the text denote, it was the LORD and not Moses that proclaimed the titles of Tetragrammaton aloud.

141:1  I.e., Mentioning the merciful characteristics of the Deity, who is represented as the equilibrium of justice and mercy.

141:2  That is, of AHIH, as distinct from IHVH. (See Introduction.)

141:3  The hair and beard of Macroprosopus, as distinct from that of Microprosopus. (See the "Book of Concealed Mystery," ch. iii. 16.)

 

Next: Chapter XII: Concerning the Beard of Macroprosopus in Particular, and in the First Place, Concerning its First Part

 

 

         

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