Prepared for Web-Site Beit Sefer Esther Beersheva

in conjunction with Web-Site Camillo

directed by Adam Kamkhaji

Sefer Mishnat Haim 

Petal 2    Sefer Ha-Hhok ha-Hhadash - the Law of    the Final Redemption

30 PASSES    These are 30 Tablets of 30 Gnomen each

representing the Heart of the Law of the Final Redemption



contents - the revelation of the HOLY PRESENCE, derech eretz





Gnomen 1 The revelation of the Divine Presence, in Hebrew, is referred to as ‘gilui shechinah’. The Holy Shechinah falls only on a person who is in state of perfection before God, the heart must be in a state of true happiness in its service to God. As it states in the Talmud ‘There are 36 Just in the world who receive the Divine Shechinah every day’. This refers to the 36 Hidden Tzadikim of every generation, the Sons of the Ascent, who are perfect in their service to God and who in the great elevation of their level live in the immense felicity of their purpose.

Gnomen 2 - It is, of course, not simple, to understand what is meant by Shechinah, for only those upon whom it has been revealed can truly know it. There are some examples from tradition which help to conceive of its substance. It is said, for example, that only in the last 17 years of Jacob’s life, in the land of Goshen, the Shechinah was with him. In all the many years preceding this, because of the many difficulties that afflicted him, the conflict with Esau, 20 years of Laban’s imbroglios, the fleeing from Aram Naharaim, Dina’s being taken by Shechem ben Hhamor, Shimon and Levi’s revenge, Rahhel’s death, the plight of Joseph and the famine of Eretz Canaan, Jacob was not in a state of completeness and felicity necessary for the Shechinah to reside.

Gnomen 3   There are hundreds of expressions in Tradition which speak about the Holy Shechinah. It is said, for example, that above the bed-head of a sick person hovers the Holy Shechinah. In all the expressions used, one will still have quite a difficult time to define what the Shechinah is because, indeed, it cannot be properly ‘defined’. It is a manifestation of God’s closeness, of God’s light. It is higher than the world and when it resides in the world, the material world becomes totally secondary to it. After Shimon and Levi’s destruction of the inhabitants of Shechem, all the 31 kings of the small nations in the land of Canaan gathered together to make war against Jacob and his household. Jacob, our father, was afraid; it was just this that he had feared and the reason of his wrath for the wrath of Shimon and Levi. If not that the Holy Shechinah came down upon the marching warriors and it showed them myriad armies ready to go against them. Great fear fell on them and they returned on their path.

Gnomen 4  Sometimes, in the talmudic and midrashic tradition,the term ‘Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu’ - The Holy One, Blessed is He - is used instead of the term Shechinah. When it says, for example, that on the shore at Yam Suf (the Red Sea) they saw Him (Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu) dressed as a Shaliah Tzibur, ‘one who prays before the congregation’,  one is, in truth, speaking about a manifestation of the Shechinah, certainly not of God Himself. To Whom might He pray???? But He may make His Holy Presence felt in any way that He so desires. So is it possible for those who merit to feel His Presence and to walk together with the Holy Shechinah.

Gnomen 5     This is a very vast and deep subject about which volumes might be written but it is not a subject of these Tablets. And even if volumes be written about it, all those words written will help no one in understanding what the Shechinah is or in ‘finding’ it , unless he has known the experience and is already living a very elevated and interior life. The Shechinah, however, does not always exert its potency in manifest forms. When the Jews went into captivity in Babylon, the Tradition, based on Prophets, explains that the Shechinah descended with them. It is not always seen. One who walks upright before God in his thoughts and speech and actions walks with the Shechinah, even though it is not seen manifestly and perhaps not even felt. It is there, nonetheless, protecting that person while guiding his thoughts and all that he does. A true Hidden Tzadik, however, who happens to see that person, will see, in silence, that the Shechinah is upon him.

Gnomen 6    In Tradition, where it is assumed that the Jew who conducts his life according to the sanctification of the laws of the Torah walks with the Shechinah, there is a category of negative qualities or actions which are said to be sinful because ‘they push away the feet of the Shechinah’. Anger, for example, is such. Using foul language is such. Lightheadedness or foolish chatter at the table while eating is such. The Shechinah resides where there is happiness; it is pushed away by sadness. The Shechinah resides in cleanliness; it is pushed away by dust or dirtiness or impurity of any sort. In general, the laws of derech eretz, of respect and just comportment with other people , as well as the derech eretz for that which is sacred, are those laws which protect those values that are most loved by the Holy Shechinah. And on the contrary, the lack of said derech eretz is that which most of all ‘pushes away the feet of the Divine Presence’.

Gnomen 7   In the FNP, in which we are being given the study of the White Marble Steps of the Virtues of the KOH, the fifth virtue is referred to generally as that of the Divine Presence and is correlated with the fifth commandment of honoring one’s father and mother so that one prolong his days on earth. There is a direct connection between the 5th comm., the Divine Presence (we soften the term ‘Shechinah’ to ‘hashra’ah’ - a residing of the spirit, or, in English, we say simply Presence) and derech eretz. It is essential to see the nexus. The 5th comm. is that of derech eretz par excellence which begins with the respect for one’s parents. It is by way of the laws of derech eretz that the Presence is brought upon the person and into the world. We also call the 5th Virtue that of derech eretz.

Gnomen 8 Derech eretz holds the Keys to bringing upon oneself the closeness of EL SHADDAI. One must be respectful towards all people. One must know how to greet people, how to converse with people, how to sit at a table for eating, how to be dressed before others and how to be dressed for prayer etc. One must know how to speak with the proper derech eretz. Also the Sages, of blessed memory, declare that derech eretz precedes the Torah and without derech eretz there is no Torah. For derech eretz holds the Keys to understanding that which is loved before Him and without derech his Torah will not reside in him, even if he has studied Torah for 80 years.

Gnomen 9  The Tzadik ha-Kadosh, ha-Moreh Haim, used to explain: " What does it mean that a person who fulfills the commandment of honor your father and your mother will have his days lengthened? Does this mean that one will live longer? In truth, it has little sense to think that one will live more years than the number of years allotted him by the star under which he was born, as the Sages, of blessed memory explain,   'hhayei, banei u-mezonei be-mazala talya milta', one’s life span, one’s children and one’s sustenance depend on one’s star. What, then, does it mean that one’s days will be prolonged? This is speaking about the days themselves. The days themselves allotted him will be lengthened with good health, with inner serenity and with pleasure in life. He will live the fullness of his days. "

Gnomen 10  No small gift from the Lord, our God. Such is the true richness of life, not the number of his days. The Sages, of blessed memory, explain that when Jacob, our father, asked God in his prayer for ‘bread to eat and clothing to wear’, he did not ask for something small. The Tzadik Haim explained: " When he asks for bread to eat, he is asking for the proper health to be able to eat as it pleases him, and when he asks for clothing to wear, he is asking for good health to be able to walk and to move and to go as he pleases. See then the magnificence of the recompense for being respectful towards one’s parents and for honoring them in every way possible and for fulfilling their will (unless their will does not coincide with the will of God) and for bringing them pleasure in every way possible. One will be blessed by God who will have His Holy Presence reside with that person to lengthen his days upon the earth. "

Gnomen 11 Honoring one’s father and mother is the fount and source of derech eretz. As said, the 5th Virtue is derech eretz; we speak of ‘hashra’a’, the residing of the Presence because the revelation of God’s closeness is the ultimate and desired result of the just behavior in the light of respect. Derech eretz is the mode; hashra’a is the desired result. Derech eretz, of course, does not stop with parents; it becomes extended to the parents of one’s wife and the parents of one’s husband. It is commanded in the Torah to respect all elderly people , as well as all those who are ‘older’ than you whether in years or in wisdom.

Gnomen 12 - Do you know what Methuselah did to be so rewarded with the greatest number of years recorded in the Torah, quite close to a thousand? It was an act of derech eretz for the respect of Heaven. He saw that the people of that time, after eating as beasts, left their excrement wherever they happened to be,  without covering them. Methuselah was anguished for the lack of respect tow