Rabbi Hiyya and Rabbi Yose met one night at the Tower of Tyre.
They stayed there as guests, delighting in each other.
Rabbi Yose said, "I am so glad to see the face of Shekhinah.
For just now, the whole way here, I was pestered by an old man,
a donkey driver, who kept asking me riddles the whole way:
'What is a serpent that flies in the air and wanders alone,
while an ant lies peacefully between its teeth?
Beginning in union, it ends in separation.
What is an eagle that nests in a tree that never was?
Its young who have been plundered,
who are not created creatures,
lie somewhere uncreated.
When they go up, they come down; coming down, they go up.
Two who are one, and one who is three.
What is a beautiful maiden who has no eyes
and a body concealed and revealed?
She comes out in the morning and is hidden all day.
She adorns herself with adornments that are not.'
All this he asked on the way; I was annoyed.
Now I can relax!
If we had been together, we would have engaged in words of Torah
instead of strange words of chaos."
Rabbi Hiyya said, "That old man, the donkey driver,
do you know anything about him?"
He answered, "I know that there is nothing in his words.
If he knew anything, he should have opened with Torah;
then the way would not have been empty!"
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Zohar, the Book of Enlightenment. Contributors: Daniel Chanan Matt - Translator. Publisher: Paulist Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1983. Page number: 121.
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