BOOK OF THAT WHICH IS CONCEALED From the Sefer HaZohar Mantuan Codex: Shmoth II: 186b Copyright Work of the Chariot 2001
SIFRA DETZNIYUTHA “Book of THAT Which is Concealed” The original Work of the Chariot translation is presented here in its entirety. A substantial Appendix follows the five core chapters. The first appendix is an extensive addition from the sixteenth century which is intended to follow after the verse, “And Elohim said the waters will swarm with movement of living-being,” in Chapter Three. The second brief appendix is an addition intended for the very end of the fifth chapter. The text itself mixes citations from the Torah, the Writings and the Prophets with the Zoharic commentary. To avoid confusion, the Torah quotes will be “penned” in Bold Italic, the Writings and Prophets will be just Bold, and the commentary in regular type. PREFACE The hooks and their pillars shall be made of silver. 1 Said Rabbi Yitza’aq: “I presume that the hooks of the pillars symbolize all those who are attached to the supernal unifying pillars, And that all those who are below depend on them. What is the significance of the word Vavim ,yvv? Six within six, all united and nourished by the Circle2 that is set over them. And we have learned in the Sifra Detzniyutha this dictum: “The supernal Vav v and the inferior Vav v,” All comprehended in ONE meaning and ONE Name, Having one and the same significance. Now, what is the Sifra Detzniyutha?” Said Rabbi Shimeon: “Five chapters which are comprised in a Great Hall and fill the whole Earth.3 ” Said Rabbi Yehudah: “If they are so comprehensive, they are better than all!” Said Rabbi Shimeon: “Verily, it is so for him who enters and comes out; And it is NOT (al) for him who enters the NOT (al) and comes out.4 This is comparable to a person whose dwelling was among the mountains,5 and he (she) knew no townsfolk. He used to sow wheat and ate the wheat grains as they are. One day he entered the town. They offered him good bread. Said that person, “What is this for?” They said, “It is bread to eat.” He ate and it was singularly pleasant to his taste. He said, “And of what is this made?” They said, “Of wheat grains.” Then they offered him cakes kneaded in oil. He tasted of them. He said, “And these, of what are they made?” They said, “Of wheat grains.” Then they offered him pastry prepared for royalty, kneaded with honey and oil. He tasted them and said, “And these, of what are they made?” They said, “Of wheat grains.” He said, “Surely I am the master of all of these, for I eat the essence of all of these, which is wheat.” And because of this disposition he knew as NOT (al) the delicacies of the world, and they were lost to him. It is likewise for him who seizes the general principle of wisdom4 , and knows as NOT (al) all the pleasing delicacies that derive from the general principle.”
Sifra Detzniyutha Chapter One We learned: The Book of THAT Which is Concealed is the book of the balancing in weight.6 Until NOT (al, Lo) existed as weight, NOT existed as seeing Face to Face;7 And the Primordial Kings8 died, as their crowns9 were NOT found, And the Earth was nullified, Until the Head (sar, Rosh) 10 desired by all desires formed and communicated the garments of splendor.11 That weight arises from the place which is NOT Him. Those who exist as NOT are weighed in hy. 12 In His body exists the weight. NOT unites and NOT begins. In hy have they ascended, and in hy do they ascend, Who NOT are, and are, and will be. The Hidden within the Hidden13 is formed and found in: 1) One skull,14 2) Filled with the Dew of Bdellium, 3) An envelope of clear and concealing air,15 4) Those that are pure wool are hanging even balanced,16 5) The will of all wills17 that is revealed with the prayers of those below, 6) The Open Eye18 that does not slumber but watches constantly, the Eye below is by means of the Eye of the supernal radiance, 7) The openings of the hollow pillar,19 from whence His Spirit20 rushes forth unto all. IT created six, IT created Elohim, the heaven and the Earth. 21 Bara Shyt, IT created Six over them.22 They are all below, And they depend on the seven of the skull as far as the splendor of all splendors. And the Earth, That is, the second one is NOT in the computation; This was already said. For it emerged from the one that was cursed, As it is written, From the ground which the Lord hvhy cursed. 23 ...was unformed and empty24 and darkness AL (li, lit. Upon)25-Face of the Deep, and the Spirit of Elohim hovers AL-Face of the Waters. 26 Thirteen depend from the thirteen of the splendor of splendors.27 Six thousand years depend on the first ones.28 The seventh above them is that One which alone is powerful,29 And the whole was desolate for twelve hours,30 As it is written
...was unformed and empty... The thirteenth raises up these through mercy, And they are renewed as before For thus it is written, ...IT created... And thereafter it is written, ...IT was... For surely IT had been. And at the end of the unformed and confused and dark The Lord hvhy alone shall be exalted in the Day of THAT. 31 The engravings of all engravings appears as a long serpent,32 And extends this way and that. The tail is in the head. The head goes around to the shoulders. Passing and indignant, guarding and concealing, Revealing itself in one of a thousand short days, The receptacle in the bond, the fin in its part. Its head is broken in the waters of the great sea, As it is written, You broke the heads of the serpents on the waters.33 There had been two serpents; they were reduced to one. TNYNM (,nynt) is written defective.34 Heads, as it is written, And over the heads of the Chayot there was the likeness of a Firmament.35 And Elohim said Light will be, and Light was.36 This is what is written, For HE spoke,37 and IT was.38 HE is alone. Then the line returns and becomes one v y”v v” hy y” vhy, 39 The latter (Yod y) is the Shekhinah below, Just as the Heh h is found to be the Shekhinah. 40 And they are balanced in weight. And the Chayot rush forth and return.41 As it is written, Elohim saw the Light as-good.42 Call the righteous as-good.43 Therefore do they ascend in the weights. IT was at first alone. But all things return into the unity, Sister and brother combined one in another,44 In hy, like two lovers who embrace. Six come out from the branch of the root of the body. The tongue speaks great things.45
This tongue is hidden between the Yod y and the Heh h, As it is written, That man shall say I am of the Lord hvhy. 46 And that man shall be called by the name Ya’aqov (Jacob). And that man shall write with his hand: “I am of the Lord hvhy.” And by the name of Israel shall he call himself, indeed. That man shall say, “I am of the Lord hvhy.” O Lord hvhy-the Sister, And all is within vhy. 47 All are included in the tongue concealed in the Mother, For it opens for that which egresses from it. The Father dwells in the head, the Mother in the middle, And there is a covering from this side and from that side. And woe unto him that uncovers their nakedness. And Elohim said Lights will be in the Firmament of Heaven.48 The male rules over the female As it is written, The Righteous is the foundation forever.49 The Yod y illumines both, And It illumines and passes on into the Female. The Yod y sets itself apart, ascends by its level higher and higher, And the Female is darkened. And the Mother is illumined and is opened out into Her gates. The key, which contains the six, comes and covers up Her gates, And It is unified below, with this one and that one, Woe unto him that uncovers Her gate.