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Sefer ha-bahir – Para 34 – The Hebrew letter Chet

Identifier

014832

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Sefer ha-bahir

34  They asked him:  Why is the letter Chet open?  And why is its vowel point a small Patach?

He said: because all directions are closed, except for the North, which is open for good and evil.

They said:  How can you say it is for good:  Is it not written (Ezekiel 1:4) ‘And behold a stormy wind coming from the north, a great cloud and burning fire’.  Fire is nothing other than fierce anger, as it is written (Leviticus 10:2) ‘And fire went out from before God and it consumed them and killed them’.

He said:  There is no difficulty.  One case is speaking of when Israel does the will of God, while the other is speaking of when they do not do his will.  When Israel does not do His will, then the fire comes close [to punish].  But when they do God’s will, then the attribute of Mercy emcompasses and surrounds it, as it is written (Micah 7:18), ‘He lifts up sin and passes over rebellion’.

The source of the experience

Judaism and Kabbalah

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities