Sefer ha-bahir – Para 37 – The Patach
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
37…. What is the Patach? It is an opening
What is meant by an opening? This is the direction of the north, which is open to all the world. It is the gate from which good and evil emerge.
And what is good?
He mocked them and said ‘Did I not tell you that it is a small patach (opening)’.
They said ‘we have forgotten, teach us again’
He reviewed it and said What is this like? A king had a throne. Sometimes he carried it on his arm and sometimes on his head.
They asked why and he replied: Because it is beautiful and it is a pity to sit on it.
They asked: Where did he place it on his head?
He replied in the open mem. It is thus written (Psalm 85:12) ‘Truth sprouts up from the earth and righteousness looks down from heaven’
38. Rabbi Amorai sat and expounded
What is the meaning of the verse (Psalm 87:2) ‘God loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob’.
The gates of Zion are the openings of the world.
A gate is nothing other than an opening. We thus say, ‘Open for us the gates of mercy’.