The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Among All the Sages of the Nations of the World, There Are None Like You”
The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Among All the Sages of the Nations of the World, There Are None Like You” (abridged)
161. Rabbi Elazar said, “It is written: ‘Who would not fear the King of the nations of the world!’ What kind of praise is this?” Rabbi Shimon replied: “This has been said, but one should not understand the verse, ‘For among all the sages of the nations of the world, and in all their kingdoms, there are none like You,’ in its simple, literal interpretation. This is because it naturally gives rise to evil intentions of sinners. Therefore, their folly must be clarified.
A philosopher came to me and said, “You say that your Creator governs the entire Heavens, and that all the Heavenly hosts are unable to attain Him, nor come to know His dwelling place. However, this does not add to His greatness, as it is written, ‘among all the sages of the nations of the world, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.’ What kind of a comparison is this when the Creator is compared to man, who is nothing?’”
162. Furthermore, you claim, as your Torah says, that “There had not risen a prophet since in Israel like Moshe.” There are none in Israel, but there is one among the nations of the world! So I claim the same: there is none like You among all the sages of the nations of the world, but among the sages of Israel there is one like You. However, if there is one like Him among the sages of Israel, then He cannot be the Supreme Ruler.
163. Rabbi Shimon said to him, “You object correctly that there are those among the sages of Israel who are similar to the Creator. For the Creator resurrects the dead back to life, yet Eliyahu and Elisha came and resurrected the dead back to life! The Creator causes rains to fall, yet Eliyahu came and abolished rains! The Creator created the Heavens and the earth, yet for Avraham the Heavens and the earth were revived.”
164. “The Creator governs the sun, yet Yehoshua came and stopped it. The Creator issues His decree, yet Moshe immediately issues a decree of his own, and it is carried out. The Creator wishes to punish, and the righteous of Israel annul His verdict. Moreover, He bid us to closely follow His ways and to be like Him in every way.” The philosopher then went and became Israel, and lived in the village of Shachalayim, and they called him Yosi HaKatan (Little Yosi). He studied the Torah a great deal, and was among the sages and the righteous of that village.
165. And now the time has come to take a closer look at this verse (to understand the inner essence of it). It is written that all the nations of the world are nothing before the Creator. Yet, how does this exalt Him? Hence, it is written: “Who sees the King of the nations of the world?” Yet, is the King of the nations of the world also not the King of Israel? The Creator wishes to elevate Israel (the property of love and bestowal toward others, similarity to Himself); this is why He is called everywhere “the King of Israel” (in accordance with man’s intention towards the Creator: Israel = Isra-El = straight to the Creator). The other nations of the world (egoistic intentions) say (about man) that they have another King up in the Heavens (egoistic goals), for it seems to them that He governs only them, and not us (they claim that the governance over the property of reception and the property of bestowal, seeing as they are opposite, does not descend from a single Upper Force).
166. It is written: “Who would not fear the King of the nations of the world?” That is, their Supernal King is there to threaten and persecute them, and do with them as He pleases (so strictly does the Creator manifest in egoistic desires). Hence, He should be feared. And all fear Him, Above and below. For it is written that among all the sages of the nations of the world (the angels that rule over these nations) and in their Kingdoms (Above) there is none like You. There are four Kingdoms Above that rule over all the nations of the world (the universal egoism, so as to bring it to correction) according to the Creator’s will. And there is no one who can do even the smallest action without His personal instruction (because the end goal determines every action). The sages of the nations of the world are the forces that rule them from Above, and all the wisdom of the nations of the world comes from these rulers. “In all their Kingdoms” means that the Creator’s will rules over them.
167. Yet, among all the sages of the nations of the world and in all their kingdoms, who among them can do it if not You, who will do it better than You! For You excel over them all in both properties and deeds. Hence, it is written: “There is none like You.”
168. Rabbi Shimon (joyous over the revelation that everything stems from the Creator) said to his friends: “This wedding (unification of souls with the Creator) must be a wedding for all of you, and each of you should bring a gift (his own part in the common Malchut) to the Bride.” He said to Rabbi Elazar, his son: “Present the Bride (Malchut) with a gift, for on the following day Zeir Anpin will look as he enters the wedding canopy (the common Screen with Ohr Hozer) at the sound of these songs and praises of the sons of the wedding canopy (the souls exiting exile into adhesion), who stand before the Creator.”
Shamati 171: “Zohar, Amor”