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57 The House of the World

by Aryeh Wineman
57 The House of the World The basic structure of existence is constructed, threatened, and will ultimately be perfected as the defiling, threatening force is utterly removed. “ But Jacob journeyed on to Succoth, and built a house for himself and made stalls for his cattle; that is why the place was called Succoth” ( Genesis 33: 17). Beginning his interpretation of this verse, Rabbi Hiyya referred to another verse: “ Unless the Lord build the house, its builders labor in vain; unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman keeps vigil in vain” ( Psalms 127: 1). He commented, “ Come and note: At the moment that the first stirring to create a universe arose  in the divine will, He brought forth from the spark of darkness1 a  mist which then glowed in the midst of the darkness. The light remained above even as it descended below, glistening in a hundred different paths— some hardly detectable and others expansive— bringing the House of the World into being. “ This House is situated at the very center of all that is. How many entrances and chambers it has! It is surrounded everywhere by concealed, holy places where the birds of the heavens build nests, each according to its own kind. From its midst there emerges a single large and mighty Tree, with thick branches and fruit, having abundant sustenance in it for all. That Tree ascends upward to the very clouds of the heavens, until it disappears from view among three mountains, and then comes into view both climbing higher and also descending. The House, nourished and watered by the Tree, conceals numerous celestial and unknown treasures. In this way that House was con-structed and beautified. The Tree is visible during the daylight hours but at night is hidden from view, while the House, in contrast, is seen at night and is hidden from view during the day.   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

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57 The House of the World The basic structure of existence is constructed, threatened, and will ultimately be perfected as the defiling, threatening force is utterly removed. “ But Jacob journeyed on to Succoth, and built a house for himself and made stalls for his cattle; that is why the place was called Succoth” ( Genesis 33: 17). Beginning his interpretation of this verse, Rabbi Hiyya referred to another verse: “ Unless the Lord build the house, its builders labor in vain; unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman keeps vigil in vain” ( Psalms 127: 1). He commented, “ Come and note: At the moment that the first stirring to create a universe arose in the divine will, He brought forth from the spark of darkness1 a mist which then glowed in the midst of the darkness. The light remained above even as it descended below, glistening in a hundred different paths— some hardly detectable and others expansive— bringing the House of the World into being. “ This House is situated at the very center of all that is. How many entrances and chambers it has! It is surrounded everywhere by concealed, holy places where the birds of the heavens build nests, each according to its own kind. From its midst there emerges a single large and mighty Tree, with thick branches and fruit, having abundant sustenance in it for all. That Tree ascends upward to the very clouds of the heavens, until it disappears from view among three mountains, and then comes into view both climbing higher and also descending. The House, nourished and watered by the Tree, conceals numerous celestial and unknown treasures. In this way that House was con-structed and beautified. The Tree is visible during the daylight hours but at night is hidden from view, while the House, in contrast, is seen at night and is hidden from view during the day. < < C h a p t e r >> Home | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com
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